(Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

(Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Bumble Bee Tuna executive charged in price-fixing probe

An executive of Bumble Bee Seafoods was charged in federal court in San Francisco today with conspiring with other unnamed companies and individuals to fix prices of packaged seafood such as canned tuna.

Walter Scott Cameron, a senior vice president of sales, has agreed to plead guilty to the single felony count, the Justice Department said. The department said Cameron agreed to pay a criminal fine and to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation of alleged price-fixing antitrust violations by the packaged seafood industry.

The charge against Cameron is the first to be filed in the probe, the agency said.

Bumble Bee, based in San Diego, describes itself as the nation’s largest packaged seafood company.

The company was not identified in the charges filed today, but Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jill Irvin confirmed that Cameron is an employee and said he is now on paid leave.

The charge, filed in a document known as an information, alleged that Cameron met with representatives of other seafood packaging firms, agreed to fix, raise and maintain the prices of their products, and then announced prices that were in accordance with the understandings reached.

Irvin said the company and Cameron are both cooperating with the investigation. “The company is hopeful that it can reach a resolution with DoJ on this matter, as it relates to the company, in early 2017,” Irvin said in a
statement.

Renata Hesse, the chief of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, stated, “Today’s charge is the first to be filed in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into price fixing among some of the largest suppliers of canned tuna and other packaged seafood.

“All consumers deserve competitive prices for these important kitchen staples, and companies and executives who cheat those consumers will be held criminally accountable,” Hesse said.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkbumble bee tunaCrime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Indoor dining at John’s Grill. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State’s mask mandate to continue until June 15 reopening despite CDC guidance

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation California will wait until next… Continue reading

International Bird Rescue helped save Bay Area birds that were contaminated by mysterious goo in 2015. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)
International Bird Rescue marks 50 years of wildlife protection

Group established in wake of massive oil spill continues essential rehabilitation, research

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

Most Read