Hershey Candy Pays $4million for Price Fixing

by ParkmanLaw on June 26, 2013

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United States candy maker, Hershey, pleaded guilty on Friday to the price fixing of confectionery products in Canada.  According to the competition Bureau of Canada, Hershey Canada Inc. now faces a fine of $3.8 million after entering the guilty plea in Ontario Superior Court.  Earlier this month, Canadian authorities also charged Nestle, Mars, and a network of wholesale distributors in the case after a whistle-blower tipped authorities about the scheme.  Also charged are former Nestle Canada Inc. president Robert Leonidas; Sandra Martinez, former president of confectionery for Nestle Canada; and David Glenn Stevens, president and chief executive of ITWAL.  If convicted, each could face a fine of up to $9.5 million and a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.  A trial date has been set for October 3rd, 2013.  Nestle, Mars, and ITWAL Ltd. Have said they intend to vigorously defend themselves against all charges.

The competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency, recommended to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada that Hershey receive a lenient treatment since the company cooperated with the investigation.

The alleged price-fixing scheme involved chocolate bars sold across Canada between 2002 and 2008.  It included popular brands such as:  Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Aero, Twix, Snickers, Bounty, and M&Ms. Hershey said previously that the scheme was limited to the Canadian marketplace, and involved executives that were no longer with the company.

If you find yourself facing federal fraud charges, it is important to find an experienced antitrust lawyer to represent you.  The criminal attorneys of Parkman & White, LLC have a history of success in the court room and are ready to represent clients nationwide.

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