Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tomato King Remains in the Can is reporting that the Tomato King (pic) is to remain behind bars for the present due to his risk of flight.  I told you about this guy back in early March, California agribusiness executive Frederick Scott Salyer, is facing federal racketeering charges in connection with his company SK Foods.  Sk Foods, Inc. supplies an estimated 14% of the nation's tomatos.  The charges against Sayler and his cronies in the agribusiness world is that they were defrauding food manufacturers and consumers with practices that included moving spoiled produce that ended up in your processed foods.  Yum!

Salyer has been incarcerated since February when he stepped off a plane after traveling overseas.  In the year before his arrest he had been liquidating all of his US assets and the feds strongly suspects he was planning to disappear to a country without an extradition treaty.  His attorneys argue that he was an international businessman and that his international travels were perfectly reasonable.  Sayler's lawyeres are also telling the federal court that Sayler's defense on complex criminal charges require him to be available to them.  Thus far, the Judge ain't buying.

An earlier SacBee article on Sayler's failed attempt to obtain his release on bond included transcripts of prison telephone conversations showing Sayler trying to manipulate his daughter,  and through her, his ex-wife:

["Sayler] told his daughter Caroline Salyer that he was 'done' and that if he killed himself 'it'll make everybody smile.'

'I have no reason to live, honey, and I cannot live in a (expletive) box,' he said. 'It's easier to live underground than it is to live above the ground in this (expletive) piece of concrete and eat (expletive) dog food.'  Each of these 'panicked, despondent' calls, as the government referred to them, was recorded March 30 – the day U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton withdrew an earlier order to release the 54-year-old erstwhile agribusiness titan awaiting trial on racketeering, conspiracy and bribery charges that could keep him behind bars the rest of his life."
USC  Title 18, Sections 3141-3150 provides that pre-trial detention of individuals should be based on the danger to the community; under prior law as well as the risk of flight. 18 USC 3142(f) provides that only persons who fit into certain categories are subject to detention without bail, these include: persons charged with a crime of violence, or for an offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death, or for certain drug offenses for which the maximum offense is greater than 10 years, and for repeat felony offenders, or if the defendant poses a serious risk of flight, obstruction of justice, or witness tampering. The law requires that a special hearing be held to determine whether a defendant fits within these categories; if not bail must be granted.  In Sayler's case bail has been set $6 million, but the Tomato King is unable to make bail.  His ex-wife has the keys to the property that would spring him, but she's disinclined to pledge it for his benefit.

For me, the Sayler story is a real grabber. 

This guy carelessly and recklessly tried to poison American consumers, then he gave every indication he was set to flee.  Instead, Sayler finds himself in what seems like the Karmic jail cell of his own making.  Many of us do what Sayler did (I know I have--) just not as spectacularly as Sayler has.  What jail cell do you find yourself in, today?


  1. in your extensive list of "alledged crimes "for for which pre-trial dentention is possible you forgot littering and vagrancy of course they probably by now are classified under crimes holding a sentence of 10 yrs or greater

    the pope

  2. Your Holiness--
    makes a good point. This story is pretty amazing, this guy was walking with business titans, ain't now. Hubris, I know the feeling.