| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
ARKANSAS FISH DISTRIBUTOR CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. An Arkansas fish distributor was charged today with obstructing the grand jury investigation of a suspected conspiracy to fix the price of feeder goldfish sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced. Feeder goldfish are used as food for other ornamental and desirable fish.
Pool Fish Distributors Inc., located in Lonoke, Arkansas, was charged in U.S. District Court in Cleveland with obstruction of justice for intentionally delaying the production of documents that the grand jury subpoenaed that were material to its investigation.
"The Antitrust Division will prosecute those who obstruct grand jury investigations and attempt to prevent the Division from detecting and prosecuting price-fixing conspiracies," said R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.
According to the charge, between June 19, 2002 and May 2004, Pool Fish Distributors intentionally delayed the production of documents in response to grand jury subpoenas, which caused the grand jury not to consider the relevance of the documents before the statute of limitations had expired on the alleged offenses.
Pool Fish Distributors was charged with obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), which carries a maximum penalty for a corporation of a $500,000 fine.
The Department's ongoing investigation into suspected price fixing in the feeder-goldfish industry is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's Cleveland Field Office with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Anyone with information concerning price-fixing in the feeder-goldfish industry should contact the Cleveland Office of the Antitrust Division at (216) 522-4070.