SACRAMENTO -- A former owner of a California tomato processing company has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for engaging in a price-fixing scam.

A U.S. District Court judge in Sacramento ordered 57-year-old Frederick Scott Salyer on Tuesday to begin serving the sentence on April 9, possibly at a minimum security prison camp in Lompoc.

Salyer pleaded guilty last year to charges that he bribed purchasing managers at food giants including Kraft Foods Inc. and Frito-Lay.

He was convicted of racketeering and price fixing. The charges carried maximum sentences of 20- and 10 years, respectively, but the terms were reduced as part of a plea agreement.

He also was sentenced to three years of probation.