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Buyers For Potato Chip King Frito-Lay and Kraft Plead To Accepting Bribes


When you think of Frito-Lay, you think of potato chips — ruffles and all — and as its logo says: “Good fun!”.  But bribery? Almost makes you want to switch to Pringles.

By DON THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO — Buyers for Kraft Foods Inc. and Frito-Lay Inc. are pleading guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as part of a scheme that helped drive up food prices nationwide, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Robert Watson of White Plains, N.Y., entered his plea in a Sacramento federal court Tuesday to accepting $158,000 from a California-based tomato processor. Watson, 59, was a Kraft senior purchasing manager.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said James Wahl Jr., 58, a former Frito-Lay purchaser from Dallas, also has agreed to plead guilty to accepting about $160,000.
The charges say they each helped Randall Lee Rahal, a sales broker and director at SK Foods of Lemoore, charge their companies inflated prices. SK Foods grows and processes products like tomato paste and diced tomatoes, 95 percent of which are processed in California.

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