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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 1994
(202) 616-2771
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Louisiana seafood company was charged with participating in a conspiracy to fix prices paid for crawfish purchased from Louisiana fishermen and crawfish farmers, according to the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.

Seafood Inc. of Henderson, Louisiana, was charged in the conspiracy that began in 1980 and continued until 1993. The case was filed Tuesday, in U.S. District Court in Lafayette, Louisiana.

In a related case, Charles J. Friedman, the owner of Seafood Inc. of Henderson, Louisiana, pled guilty on Thursday, to obstruction of justice for creating and sending a false and misleading affidavit to the Department of Justice for submission to the federal grand jury.

Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said the charges were the result of a federal antitrust grand jury investigation into price fixing by crawfish processors in Louisiana. The continuing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's Dallas Office with the cooperation of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Investigations.

The maximum penalty for a corporation convicted of a violation of the Sherman Act is the greatest of a $10 million fine, twice the gross pecuniary gain the corporation derived from the crime or twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime.

The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of obstruction of justice is a term of imprisonment of five years and a $250,000 fine.