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Originally published Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 2:47 PM

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Calif. food exec pleads not guilty to more charges

The former California food company executive at the center of a massive tomato price-fixing investigation has pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in the case.

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

The former California food company executive at the center of a massive tomato price-fixing investigation has pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in the case.

Frederick Scott Salyer entered the plea Tuesday to violating antitrust laws. Prosecutors allege he fixed prices and rigged bids for the sale of tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted him April 29 on 12 counts, adding to previous charges including racketeering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

So far, the price-fixing probe has netted guilty pleas from 10 former employees or customers of SK Foods Inc., which Salyer used to own.

The 54-year-old Salyer is being held in Sacramento County Jail, unable to post $6 million bond.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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