Why the chicken executive price-fixing case is a priority for prosecutors

As jury selection begins in the unusual third trial of leaders at Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry Farms, the DOJ is doubling down on its strategy of holding those in charge accountable.

The U.S. Justice Department is hopeful that in the criminal case involving poultry executives whom it says conspired to keep prices high, the third time will be the charm.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in Colorado as part of a seldom-seen third trial of the executives from Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry Farms. The case, which comes out of
a 2020 indictment, has gone to trial twice before. Both times, deadlocked juries led to the cases being declared mistrials. After the last trial ended without a verdict in March, the Justice Department immediately said it wanted to try the case again.

The case is is part of a years-long investigation into price-fixing in the poultry sector. The investigation — which was revealed as the Justice Department intervened in a 2016 class action price fixing lawsuit — ended with criminal charges against 14 poultry executives.

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