SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — A former Northern California food company owner has pleaded guilty to racketeering in a national tomato price-fixing plot.

Frederick Scott Salyer entered the plea Friday in federal court in Sacramento. The 56-year-old was scheduled for sentencing July 10 and remains free on $6 million bail.

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Salyer was charged with bribing purchasing managers to buy tomato products from his company, Monterey-based SK Foods.

Prosecutors say he fixed prices and rigged bids for the sale of tomato products to McCain Foods USA Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc.

He pleaded guilty to two charges: racketeering and price fixing. The charges carry maximum 20-year prison sentences, although Salyer was expected to face four to seven years behind bars.

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Prosecutors said 10 other food company representatives were convicted.



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