LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Don Pennington, the former president and chief executive officer of Harvest Foods here, and two of the chain's former food brokers have been charged with money laundering and mail fraud.
ng kickbacks on the higher commissions and fees the company paid.
The suit is scheduled to go to trial May 15 and last about three weeks. Pennington and the other defendants -- John Oldner and Billy John Armstrong -- have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The charges in the federal suit are similar to those contained in a civil suit filed by Harvest Foods in 1992. That suit was adjudicated last fall when a jury found Pennington and other defendants liable for damages to Harvest of approximately $5.3 million. That verdict is being appealed.