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Judge orders Starkist to pay $100 million criminal tuna price-fixing fine

The company has been ordered to pay $5 million within the next 30 days.

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A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered tuna giant Starkist to pay a $100 million (€90.5 million) criminal fine to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for its involvement in tuna price-fixing, despite the company's ongoing effort to reduce the amount, citing financial troubles.

US District Court Judge Edward Chen said Wednesday the court found the company has the assets and the ability to borrow money to pay the fine, the Associated Press reports.

Chen ordered the company to pay $5 million (€4.5 million) within 30 days and $11 million (€10 million) next year. Starting in 2021, the company will have to make payments of $21 million (€19 million) each year for four years, according to the news site.

That order strikes a different note from August when Chen allowed the tuna giant to delay paying the criminal fine in order to give the company more time to evaluate the sale of TechPack.

StarKist has repeatedly told the court it cannot sell TechPack and that it can only pay a fine of $50 million, and that its investment in the company is not worth $154 million as the US Department of Justice claims.

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