A former executive with US seafood maker StarKist, Stephen Hodge, has been charged with conspiring to fix the price of packaged seafood such as shelf-stable tuna sold in the country, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced.
The DOJ claims Hodge, a former senior vice-president of sales at StarKist, conspired to “fix, raise, and maintain the prices of packaged seafood” with others beginning as early as 2011 and continuing until in or about 2013″.
The charge is the latest relating to seafood price-fixing in the US. The move follows last month’s announcement that seafood group Bumble Bee Foods had agreed to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish and pay a US$25m criminal fine.
StarKist, the US unit of Dongwon Industries, was not named as Hodge’s former employer in the charge filed by the DOJ with the US District Court’s Northern District of California. Instead, the charge refers to Hodge as being employed by “company B” as senior VP of sales “from at least as early as May 2010 until at least as late as December 2013”.