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Prosecution Rests In Price-Fixing Trial

February 8, 1996

DALLAS (AP) _ The government rested Wednesday in its attempt to prove that the nation’s largest family-owned bakery and its former president conspired to fix the price of bread in Texas.

The government alleges Mrs Baird’s Bakeries Inc., and former president Floyd Carroll Baird, a grandson of the company’s founder, conspired to fix bread prices at more than 76 cents a loaf from at least 1977 until March 1993.

Then, from 1984 to June 1992 or longer, the government claims a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy existed for contracts to supply bread to government institutions.

If convicted of both counts, Mrs Baird’s could be fined at least $20 million.

Carroll Baird, 67, could face six years in prison and a fine of $700,000 or more. He served for 2 1/2 years as company president of Mrs Bairds before stepping down last May and subsequently leaving the board.

Mrs Baird’s was founded in 1908 when Ninnie Baird started baking bread for her Fort Worth, Texas, neighbors to support her eight children.

The privately owned company now employs 3,000 people at 11 Texas plants. Annual sales have been estimated at more than $200 million. Many Baird family members remain involved in the business.

The defense will begin calling witnesses on Friday.

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