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Ex-Bumble Bee CEO Is Latest Catch in Tuna Price-Fixing Hunt

  • Investigation shook an industry, made Bumble Bee insolvent
  • Conviction follows guilty pleas by companies, co-conspirators
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Former Bumble Bee Foods LLC Chief Executive Officer Chris Lischewski was convicted in a price-fixing conspiracy, capping a yearslong U.S. investigation that shook the packaged seafood industry and pushed Bumble Bee into bankruptcy last month.

Lischewski was found guilty Tuesday by a federal jury in San Francisco after just a few hours of deliberations in what experts say is likely the final piece of the Justice Department probe. Prosecutors alleged that he conspired with colleagues and executives at rival companies on a “peace proposal” in order to boost prices and meet earnings targets set by Bumble Bee’s 2010 sale to Lion Capital.

The former CEO faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, according to the indictment.