U.S. grand jury indicts former Pilgrim's Pride executives for chicken price fixing

The crest of the United States Department of Justice is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted four former executives at Pilgrim's Pride Corp (PPC.O), one of the largest U.S. poultry producers, for their roles in an alleged price fixing conspiracy for broiler chicken products.

Koch Foods, an Illinois chicken company, was also indicted separately for allegedly being part of the conspiracy to fix the prices, the Justice Department said on Thursday. Koch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The department said that the four Pilgrims Pride executives indicted were Jason McGuire, a former executive vice president of sales, and Timothy Stiller, a former general manager, former sales executives Wesley Tucker and sales executive Justin Gay.

Pilgrim's Pride said in an email that none of the four work for the company currently but declined to say when Gay left. Lawyers for the four either did not respond to a request for comment or declined comment.

Pilgrim's Pride itself pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced to pay a $107.9 million fine to settle federal charges it conspired to fix chicken prices and passed on the costs to consumers and other purchasers. read more

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Reporting by Jason Lange and Diane Bartz, Editing by Franklin Paul and Steve Orlofsky

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