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“Chicken King” Pleads Guilty to Poisoning Public

An egg magnate is back in the courtroom after endangering consumers with tainted food and bribing a public official.

Austin DeCoster, the “Chicken King,” of Quality Egg LLC and his son Peter DeCoster are facing criminal charges after investigators discovered that the duo attempted to bribe a public official and allowed tainted egg products to be sold to consumers. According to the Humane Society of the United States, both of these charges are tied to a 2010 incident in which the largest egg recall in history took place while tens of thousands of people got salmonella poisoning. This is not the first time the elder DeCoster has faced criminal charges due to the shady undertakings of one of his businesses—in 2009, a Mercy For Animals investigation at one of DeCoster’s plants revealed ten separate cases of animal cruelty and led to a civil settlement replete with a $130,000 fine. According to HSUS, court documents filed yesterday show that the defendant will plead guilty to the charges on June 3.

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