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Tyson Executive Sentenced to Prison

September 26, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

A Tyson Foods executive was given a 366-day prison sentence for providing an illegal gratuity to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. Archibald R. Schaffer III, director of government and media relations for the poultry giant, was convicted of giving Espy $2,500 worth of air transportation so Espy could attend a May 1993 Tyson family party in Arkansas. Prosecutors argued that Tyson Foods hoped Espy would derail Agriculture Department regulations meant to promote the safe handling of meat and poultry products. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said Schaffer's role in Espy's visit was so minor that a prison term was unnecessary. But he said he was forced to abide by a minimum one-year sentence.

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