The Department of Justice prosecutor on the case called it "one of the largest and most pernicious price-fixing conspiracies ever prosecuted" that "essentially infected an entire industry selling goods in the U.S." The crime at the core of the case didn't involve a big global bank, fine jewels, or anything that could make for a MacGuffin in a Bond movie. These weighty words were about canned tuna. Canned tuna is a top tier safety net food for the broke, the lazy, the desperate. Little did the tuna-loving public know that a few years ago the canned tuna industry was rocked with a massive scandal that just got the former CEO of Bumble Bee Foods Inc. -- the makers of one of the most popular canned tuna brands in the world -- sentenced to 40-months in prison for spearheading the scheme.
Bumble Bee's former CEO Christopher Lischewski, along with folks from StarKist and Chicken of the Sea, had formed a canned tuna Illuminati. They mutually agreed to secretly reduce the weight of each can from six to five ounces while jacking up the price. They tried to hide the con behind the inflating price of tuna, but they got a little cocky and overshot their price gouging. A coalition of retailers like Walmart and Kroger sued Bumble Bee after catching on to their tuna shenanigans.
The defense's central argument is a masterwork of legal incompetence. They argued that since all the companies involved actually lost money during all this, that it doesn't really matter one way or another that a canned tuna corporate mafia had conspired to scam the common person who relies on tuna as an affordable and reliable source of protein.
The lawyer who wins a case arguing that their client's plan, "May have been evil, but at least it didn't work," will begin to emit a golden light as soon as the trial ends. Their body will turn into a heavenly vapor that will dissipate into the sky as they ascend unto a higher plane to merge with the cosmos. Every other lawyer until then will just keep trying to scrub off the shame in the shower only to find that no loofa can scrub down deep into their soul.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Catch him on the "In Broad Daylight" podcast with Cracked alums Adam Tod Brown and Ian Fortey! Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. Listen to the first episode on Youtube!
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