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Attorney For Tomato King Says FBI Illegally Obtained Documents

Fresh tomatoeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You say tomato. The lawyers for tomato king Frederick Scott Salyer  say something far harsher.

Defense lawyer for the former chief executive officer of the now defunct SK Foods, a tomato-product empire, claim in a court filing Tuesday in Sacramento that the FBI illegally used an informant to steal documents for its case rather than legal search warrants, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Salyer is in jail awaiting sentencing on charges of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and antitrust violations that could send him to prison for life. Prosecutors allege that Salyer’s company inflated prices on millions of pounds of processed tomatoes sold to 55 companies in 22 states.

The defense claims the FBI obtained key documents in the case without court-authorized warrants from an informant — a vice president of the company, who took the materials, the Bee reported.

“The government’s case is based entirely on clear and substantial violations of the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits searches and seizures without warrants) by the FBI agent,” a defense attorney wrote.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office defended the case.

“We are confident that the investigation was handled properly, and we will vigorously represent the interests of the United States in court,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Delaney said in a statement to The Bee.


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