Friday, May 21, 2021

Denver jury sends chicken price-fixing to court

A federal grand jury in Denver returned an indictment charging Norman W. Fries Inc., doing business as Claxton Poultry Farms, with participating in a nationwide conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

Claxton Poultry is charged with a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case stems from the ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the broiler chicken industry. 

Claxton and company President Mikell Fries and Vice President Scott Brady are accused of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition for sales of broiler chicken products to grocers and restaurants from at least 2012 through 2019, the Department of Justice said in court filings.

Fries and Brady are among 10 individuals who were charged in a in October, 2020, with participating in an alleged conspiracy. 

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., based in Greeley, Colo., pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February to pay a criminal fine of more than $107 million for its role in the scheme.

Claxton Poultry is based in Claxton, Georgia.