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Major broiler chicken producer in Colorado pleads guilty to price fixing

Christian Fernsby |
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, a major broiler chicken producer based in Greeley, Colorado, has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to pay approximately $107 million in criminal fines for its participation in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products, the Department of Justice announced.

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Topics: COLORADO   

ccording to the plea agreement entered in the U.S. District Court in Denver, from as early as 2012 and continuing at least into 2017, Pilgrim’s participated in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition for sales of broiler chicken products in the United States that affected at least $361 million in Pilgrim’s sales of broiler chicken products.

The District Court accepted Pilgrim’s guilty plea and sentenced the company to pay a criminal fine of $107,923,572.

Pilgrim’s is the first company to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products. Broiler chickens are chickens raised for human consumption and sold to grocers and restaurants. Ten executives and employees at major broiler chicken producers have also previously been charged. The investigation remains ongoing.

A violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of a $100 million fine for corporations. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.