By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton
Tomato king Frederick Scott Salyer was sentnenced to six years in federal prison today and no fine for his role in a 10- year conspiracy to corner the nation's market for tomato products.
Salyer, who took a plea deal last March in which he admitted to two counts and conceded to running his SK Foods as a racketering enterprise, had accepted an agreement under which he would face between four and seven years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton said in sentencing that his decision was extremely difficult and that he wanted to send a message about such conduct.
But, after hearing a plea for leniency from e 57-year-old farming magnate, Karlton waived a fine.
"The guy's broke," he said.
Photo caption: Frederick Scott Salyer leaves the federal courthouse in Sacramento on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Photo by Randall Benton / firstname.lastname@example.org