Carmel grocery exec named in indictment

Carmel resident Scott Drew has been indicted by a grand jury in Los Angeles for allegedly taking part in a scheme to secretly rehire workers of Ralphs Grocery Co. under false names and Social Security numbers.

The 47-year old, now a vice president at Kroger Co., was an executive at Compton, Calif.-based Ralphs when he and several other Ralphs executives rehired the workers during a bitter work stoppage against the chain, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Central District of California.

Ralphs is one of a number of grocery chains owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger.

Drew was indicted along with five other current and former Ralphs executives for using false Social Security numbers, committing identity fraud, and falsifying and concealing material facts.

A Ralphs employee quoted by The Los Angeles Times complained that the secret hirings made it appear to the striking workers that the chain was faring OK without them.

The strike, which lasted nearly five months in 2003-04, was the longest labor dispute involving the grocery industry on record.

Ralphs pleaded guilty in July 2006 to five felony counts in connection to similar charges.

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