WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A Bumble Bee tuna executive has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix the prices of canned tuna, the second Bumble Bee executive to do so in a month, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
The Justice Department said that Kenneth Worsham agreed to plead guilty to price fixing between 2011 and 2013 but did not identify the company he works for. Related civil lawsuits alleging tuna price fixing identify Worsham as a senior vice president of marketing for Bumble Bee.
Bumble Bee executive Walter Scott Cameron agreed early this month to plead guilty in the same conspiracy.
A spokeswoman for Bumble Bee had no immediate comment about Worsham’s plea. Worsham did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.
Worsham agreed to pay a fine and to cooperate with the probe, the Justice Department said, without specifying the amount of the fine.
The canned tuna market in the United States has long been dominated by three companies: Thai Union’s Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee and StarKist.
About a year ago, the U.S. Justice Department told Thai Union Group Plc, the world’s largest canned tuna producer, that it would file a lawsuit to stop its planned $1.5 billion acquisition of U.S. rival Bumble Bee. Thai Union scrapped the deal. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)