Bumble Bee Tuna Caught in a Guilty Net

“[We] will continue to hold these companies and their executives accountable for conduct that targeted a staple in American households,” said Andrew Finch, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, in a statement.

After meetings with other packaged seafood representatives between the years of 2011- 2013 they agreed to “fix, raise, and maintain prices of packaged seafood” said the Justice department prosecutors according  to the felony charge filed by the U.S. District Court. Bumble Bee has cooperated with the department of Justice and it takes the matter “very seriously” throughout the investigation.

“We accept full responsibility for needing to earn back any lost trust in our Company and will do so by acting with integrity and transparency in every way we operate our business,” according to a statement made by Jill Irvin, Bumble Bee General Counsel.

Jill Irvin also mentioned that last fall the company hired a chief compliance office and has also reviewed and edited their internal companies policies.

The federal officials do not know how much the company overcharged their customers at this time.  In December Bumble Bee Senior Vice President of sales and Senior Vice president of marketing both agreed to plead guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. They remain on paid leave at this time. The seafood industry has suffered from ongoing limited competition.

The Justice Department expressed concern during a sale to Thai Union group, which owns Chicken of the Sea. However, the plans to purchase the company were stopped.

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