FOUR executives from two US poultry firms have been charged by a grand jury with conspiracy for chicken price-fixing.
The leaders of the Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry companies were indicted on Wednesday for a years-long plot to rig bids and elevate costs, the BBC is reporting.
Prosecutors say that between 2012 and 2017 they worked to raise prices for chicken sold to restaurants and stores.
They face up to ten years in prison and a US $1m fine.
The case stems from a Justice department antitrust investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the poultry industry.
According to the BBC, Pilgrim’s CEO Jayson Penn and former vice-president Roger Austin, along with Claxton president Mikell Fries and vice-president Scott Brady are now the first to be charged in the agency’s price fixing investigation.
Pilgrim’s Pride is one of the largest chicken producers in the US, taking in more than 17% of the American consumer poultry market.