Former retail chain CEO indicted on perjury charges

[JURIST] New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted former Federated Department Stores Inc. chairman James Zimmerman for perjury, claiming he lied to antitrust investigators about a plan to keep upscale tableware out of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. stores. According to a statement from Spitzer's office:

Zimmerman intentionally offered false testimony in a sworn statement on April 9, 2004. Specifically, Zimmerman was asked whether he had called Sir Anthony O'Reilly, the Chairman of the Board of Waterford, Wedgewood, PLC, to dissuade him from selling Waterford products through Bed Bath & Beyond or to otherwise encourage him to pull out of the negotiations to do so. Zimmerman repeatedly told the assistant attorney general taking the deposition that he had never discussed Bed Bath & Beyond in any way with anyone at Waterford, including O'Reilly. According to the indictment, Zimmerman knew that these denials were untrue.
In 2004 the Federated chain paid a $900,000 civil penalty in settlement of claims that it had conspired with the May Department store and the Lenox and Waterford Wedgewood china makers to restrict competition by keeping Lenox and Waterford products out of the Bed Bath chain. Read the Spitzer press release here. The full text of the grand jurisy indictment of Zimmerman is here [PDF[. Bloomberg has more.

 

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