An Enforcement First: United States Extradites Foreign National To Face Charges In Global Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

Posted On Monday, April 7, 2014
By: Kevin E. Raphael

As the world’s economies become increasingly intertwined and interdependent, U.S. enforcement agencies are expanding their efforts beyond extensive FCPA investigations and prosecutions.  For the first time ever, the United States has extradited a foreign national to face charges, in the Southern District of Florida, for alleged bid-rigging in the international sale of rubber hoses used to transfer oil from tanks to storage facilities.  [Link to DOJ press release]

An Italian national was arrested in Germany and delivered to federal authorities in Miami late last week.  The indictment tells an account of conspiracy among five international companies, and at least ten individuals, to suppress and eliminate competition for the oil hoses, by rigging bids, fixing prices, and allocating market shares for the oil hoses among the conspirators.  The conspiracy is alleged to have lasted close to a decade, and affected the prices for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales worldwide.

The Italian national faces one count of a Sherman Act violation, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment and a million dollar fine.  Five companies and nine individuals have already pled guilty to the conspiracy.