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Former Head of Food Giant Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, March 23, 2012
Frederick "Scott" Salyer faces seven years in prison.  He bribed the purchasing agents of food manufacturers to buy his tomato-based products.  He also pleaded guilty to plotting with other tomato paste providers to set prices when contracts were put out to bid. 

U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner says some of the victims include Kraft, Frito Lay and B&G Foods.

WAGNER: "SK Foods was essentially privy to non-public information about some of the competitors, so how you quantify all that in terms of a loss to the customers is difficult to say.  But, I think we can say it's in the millions."

Salyer also ordered employees to falsify tomato content, mold content, and production dates on some products. 

He was discovered during a Federal embezzlement investigation of one of his employees, Anthony Manuel.  Manuel was believed to have embezzled more than $1 million from his previous employer. Wagner says Manuel admitted to the crime and then offered up Salyer.  

WAGNER: "In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Manuel, working at SK Foods, recorded conversations with SK Foods executives, including Scott Salyer and provided documents corroborating his account of the crimes being committed."

In 2009, Salyer fled to Andorra, where he had stashed three million dollars.  He was arrested in February of 2010 when he re-entered the United States.

Salyer is due to be sentenced in July. 
11 other people have pleaded guilty for their part in the different conspiracies.
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