In response to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division announcement, Stolt Nielsen issued a statement: In direct violation of its express promise in a written amnesty agreement, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced
the indictment of Stolt-Nielsen and its two Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group subsidiaries
The actions breach the Antitrust Division's own written Amnesty Agreement made in January 2003, which promised Stolt-Nielsen that it would not "bring any criminal prosecution" against the company or its executives related to the parcel tanker industry for conduct that occurred prior to January 15, 2003.
The one-count indictment charges Stolt-Nielsen with a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act for conduct occurring from August 1998 to as late as November 2002. Also named in the indictment were two individuals from the Company, Samuel A. Cooperman and Richard B. Wingfield.
The indictment has the potential to effectively chill self-reporting of unlawful conduct by corporations to government agencies.