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Claxton Poultry Farms Indicted For Fixing Prices

 |  May 24, 2021

A federal grand jury in Denver, Colorado, returned an indictment charging Norman W. Fries from Claxton Poultry Farms (Claxton), with participating in a nationwide conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products.

According to court documents, from at least as early as 2012 until at least 2019, Claxton and co-conspirators, including current President Mikell Fries and current Vice President Scott Brady, conspired to suppress and eliminate competition for sales of broiler chicken products, which are raised for human consumption and sold to grocers and restaurants. Fries and Brady are among 10 individuals charged in a superseding indictment in October 2020 for their roles in the conspiracy. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a major broiler chicken producer based in Greeley, Colorado, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2021 to pay a criminal fine over US$107 million for its role in the conspiracy.

“As this charge shows, we will not hesitate to prosecute crimes designed to put money in corporate coffers and line executives’ pockets at the expense of everyday Americans, including the hundreds of millions of us who rely on chicken to be an affordable staple food,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Alongside our valued law enforcement partners and colleagues at the District of Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will not stop until integrity is restored to this vital market and all wrongdoers are held to account.”

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