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Four chicken industry executives were indicted Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to fix prices on chickens sold to restaurants and grocery stores, the Justice Department’s first charges in a continuing criminal antitrust probe.
The one-count indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Colorado, alleges current and former senior executives at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Claxton Poultry Farms fixed prices and rigged bids from 2012 to 2017.
Colorado-based Pilgrim’s is the nation’s second largest producer. Company Chief Executive Jayson Penn was charged, as was a former Pilgrim’s vice president, Roger Austin. The president of Georgia-based Claxton, Mikell Fries, and a vice president, Scott Brady, were both indicted.
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