Log in
Show password
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Pilgrim's Pride pleads guilty to chicken price-fixing charge, to pay $107.9 million fine

02/23/2021 | 03:13pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: Chicken is pictured in New York

(Reuters) - Pilgrim's Pride Corp, one of the largest U.S. poultry producers, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $107.9 million fine on Tuesday to settle federal charges it conspired to fix chicken prices and passed on the costs to consumers and other purchasers.

Chief Executive Fabio Sandri entered the guilty plea on the company's behalf at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore in Denver. A plea agreement had been reached in October.

The plea followed the indictments last year of 10 poultry industry executives, including former Pilgrim's Pride Chief Executives Jayson Penn and Bill Lovette, on price-fixing charges. All 10 have pleaded not guilty.

Pilgrim's Pride is based in Greeley, Colorado, and owned mainly by Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA.

It was the first U.S. poultry company to settle charges that companies conspired from 2012 to at least 2019 to reduce production in order to boost prices of broiler chickens, which account for most chicken meat consumed in the United States.

Prosecutors estimated that Pilgrim Pride's illegal activity affected at least $361 million in sales of its broiler chicken products.

The fine was less than federal guidelines recommended because of the company's "substantial assistance," Moore said.

Tyson Foods Inc, another poultry producer, has said it was cooperating with the Justice Department probe under a corporate leniency program.

Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson, Perdue Farms Inc and Sanderson Farms Inc are also facing federal lawsuits in Chicago by consumers, restaurants, supermarket chains and food distributors over alleged price rigging dating back to 2008.

The producers were accused there of using data from an outside service to review rivals' production and pricing activities, which should have remained confidential.

Chick-fil-A, Kroger Co, Walmart Inc and Sysco Corp are among the plaintiffs in Chicago. In January, Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson agreed to pay a respective $75 million and $221.5 million to settle other claims there.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

By Jonathan Stempel

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
PILGRIM'S PRIDE CORPORATION -0.34% 29.05 Delayed Quote.48.65%
SANDERSON FARMS, INC. -0.69% 186.7 Delayed Quote.41.23%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
05:49pIranian supertanker departing from Venezuela to transport heavy oil
03:35pU.s. cdc says as of october 16, 10,114,824 people received a booster dose for covid-19 vaccine since august 13, 2021
03:35pU.s. cdc says 188,902,483 individuals have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 as of oct 16 vs 188,655,196 individuals as of oct 15
03:34pU.s. cdc says 218,562,924 individuals have received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine as of oct 16 vs 218,318,056 individuals as of oct 15
03:34pU.s. cdc says delivered 494,918,755 doses of covid-19 vaccine as of oct 16 vs 493,139,295 doses delivered as of oct 15
03:34pU.s. cdc says administered 407,446,961 doses of covid-19 vaccine as of oct 16 vs 406,570,875 doses administered as of oct 15
03:06pPetroecuador modifies terms for oil tenders
01:52pECLAC ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND : Latin American and Caribbean Countries Will Analyze the Role of the State's Institutional Framework and of Planning for Development in the Post-Pandemic Recovery
11:38aUK-France power link hit by fire set for partial restart ahead of plan
11:02aGlencore opens talks with Chad over debt restructuring
Latest news "Economy & Forex"