Ralphs Expected to Plead Guilty

Los Angeles, The Ralphs supermarket chain said it intends to plead guilty to charges that it illegally hired hundreds of workers under fake names during a 2003 grocery strike and lockout in Southern California. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ralphs Grocery Co. owner Kroger Co. said the chain "expects to enter into an agreement that will include a plea of guilty to some of the charges" in a 53-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in December.

A company attorney previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges in January and a trial date was set for Aug. 15. But Ralphs said in Thursday's SEC filing that the expected agreement, if approved, would resolve the criminal charges against the chain and end its case at the National Labor Relations Board.

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