The chief executive of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, a major US poultry company, was indicted along with three other current and former industry executives on charges of seeking to fix the price of chickens, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Pilgrim’s Pride shares fell more than 10 percent, to $18.70, during afternoon trading.
A grand jury in Denver indicted Jayson Penn, the president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, which is mostly owned by JBS USA, as well as a former executive at the Colorado-based chicken supplier, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Two executives from a Georgia chicken producer were also indicted.
“Executives who cheat American consumers, restaurateurs and grocers, and compromise the integrity of our food supply, will be held responsible for their actions,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.