The indictment can be viewed here http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/61201322111426350488.pdf. One of the more colorful emails captured in the indictment is this.
Also facing charges are the Operations Manager and the QA Manager. While we do not know to what extent they were following orders versus actively participating, we certainly can guess that they were not making large sums of money off the transactions compared to the owner and his brother. We can also guess that they did not have the level of knowledge required with regard to the actions they were taking. From the indictment:
While the vast majority of food companies here in the US produce safe food, there are still too many companies who do not put a premium on hiring and developing a well-trained technical support staff, or giving them a voice in making risk-based decisions. And there are still too many companies where the decision makers are inadequately versed in the technical aspects of the products they make, including food safety. Hopefully the outcome of this case will become a shot-across-the-bow for these companies.
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: February 21, 2013 NY Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/business/us-charges-former-owner-and-employees-in-peanut-salmonella-case.html?_r=0
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the former owner and several employees of a now-defunct peanut company that was the source of a salmonella outbreak in 2009 that killed nine people and sickened more than 700. In a 76-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday, investigators charged Stewart Parnell, 58, the former owner of the Peanut Corporation of America, or P.C.A., with criminal fraud and conspiracy, for his role in what they said was a scheme to ship peanut products known to be contaminated to customers in states across the country.
The salmonella outbreak was one of the deadliest in United States history, resulting in recalls of thousands of products made by more than 300 companies, according to Food Safety News.