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Former SK Foods owner is denied bail

A federal magistrate decides that tomato scion Frederick Scott Salyer, who is accused of leading a conspiracy to secure deals through bribes, is a flight risk.

March 04, 2010|By Marc Lifsher and P.J. Huffstutter
  • Frederick Scott Salyer, 54, had asked to be released to his home in Pebble Beach, Calif., and be monitored with an electronic anklet and be under other security restrictions. A federal magistrate, however, ordered that he continue to be confined at the Sacramento County Main Jail.
Frederick Scott Salyer, 54, had asked to be released to his home in Pebble…

Reporting from Los Angeles and Sacramento — A federal magistrate in Sacramento denied bail Wednesday to tomato scion Frederick Scott Salyer, the former SK Foods owner who has been charged with multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud.

Salyer, who was arrested Feb. 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, had asked to be released to his home in Pebble Beach, Calif., be monitored with an electronic anklet and be under other security restrictions.

But U.S. Magistrate Edmund F. Brennan denied the request and sided with federal prosecutors, who sought to keep Salyer confined to the Sacramento County Main Jail.

"I do find that the defendant is a flight risk," Brennan said during a bail hearing at the federal courthouse. The magistrate said he was not convinced that defense attorney Malcolm Segal's proposed bail conditions would ensure that Salyer would not run away.

Salyer, 54, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge said he considered several factors in turning down Salyer's bail request, including millions of dollars the executive moved to banks in Switzerland, the West Indies, Lichtenstein and the principality of Andorra on the French-Spanish border.

Brennan also noted that Salyer had not been completely candid with court officials about plans to buy a $3-million condo in Andorra.

That tiny European principality does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., Assistant U.S. Atty. Sean Flynn told Brennan.

Salyer previously arranged to get residency in Australia, Flynn said.

Prosecutors allege that Salyer is the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud large food companies such as Kraft Foods by bribing their employees to purchase inferior SK Foods tomato products.

p.j.huffstutter @latimes.com

marc.lifsher@latimes.com

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