U.S. DOJ: Guilty Plea in Price Fixing Case

press release
Monday, November 21, 2011

Florida-Based Sea Star Line LLC Agrees to Plead Guilty and Its Former President Is Indicted for Price Fixing on Coastal Freight Services Between the Continental United States and Puerto Rico Sea Star Line Also Agrees to Pay $14.2 Million Criminal Fine.


Sea Star Line LLC has agreed today to plead guilty and to pay a $14.2 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the coastal water freight transportation industry, the Department of Justice announced.  Additionally, a federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, returned an indictment against Frank Peake, the former president of Sea Star Line, for his role in the same conspiracy. According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Sea Star Line, whose principal place of business is in Jacksonville, Fla., engaged in a conspiracy to fix rates and surcharges for water transportation of freight between the continental United States and Puerto Rico from as early as May 2002, until at least April 2008.  According to a one-count indictment filed today in the same district, Peake participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as late 2005, until at least April 2008.

 

Sea Star Line transports a variety of cargo shipments, such as heavy equipment, perishable food items, medicines and consumer goods, on scheduled ocean voyages between the continental United States and Puerto Rico.

 

According to the court documents, Sea Star Line, Peake and co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by agreeing during meetings and communications to allocate customers of Puerto Rico freight services and to rig bids and fix the rates and surcharges to be charged to purchasers of water transportation of freight between the continental United States and Puerto Rico.   The department said that Sea Star Line, Peake and co-conspirators also engaged in meetings for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon rates and sold Puerto Rico freight services at collusive and noncompetitive rates.

 

 In addition to today’s charges, as a result of this investigation, on April 30, 2011, Horizon Lines LLC was sentenced to pay a $15 million criminal fine, and five former shipping executives from both Sea Star Line and Horizon Lines have been sentenced to pay a total of nearly $85,000 in criminal fines and to serve more than 11 years in prison, collectively.

 

Sea Star Line and Peake are charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $100 million for corporations, and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals.  The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

 

 

 

Today’s charges arose from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the coastal water freight transportation industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s  National Criminal Enforcement Section;  the Baltimore Resident Agency of the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS); the Miami Field Office of the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General; and the Jacksonville Field Office of the FBI.  Anyone with information concerning anticompetitive conduct in the coastal water freight transportation industry is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section at 202-307-6694, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm or contact DCIS’s Baltimore Resident Agency at 410-347-1620.

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Duffy Named President of Carnival Cruise Line

Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation & plc. announced today.   Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA),

NASSCO Opens New Facility for Naval Repair

General Dynamics NASSCO opened a new location yesterday in Bremerton, Wash. to support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.S. Navy

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

Contracts

NASSCO Opens New Facility for Naval Repair

General Dynamics NASSCO opened a new location yesterday in Bremerton, Wash. to support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.S. Navy

Kraft Power Named Distributor for Scania USA

Continuing its North American service network expansion, Scania has named Kraft Power as its newest marine distributor.   Kraft Power is now a Scania marine distributor for Florida,

Scorpio Bulkers Modifies and Sells Shipbuilding Contracts

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. announces agreements to modify and sell existing shipbuilding contracts for six capesize vessels    Scorpio Bulkers Inc. has reached agreements

Legal

Philippines to Buy Naval Assets, China Sea Dispute Simmers

The Philippines aims to buy two frigates, two helicopters and three gunboats for deployment in the South China Sea where a territorial dispute with China has lent

Maersk: Rate Hike Under Pressure on Low Demand

Container shipping firm Maersk Line said a fresh attempt made on Monday to raise freight rates on main routes from ports in Asia to those in northern Europe was

WCI Applauds Barge Diesel Fuel User Fee Increase

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and its members and stakeholders applauded the Senate’s passage, by a vote of 76 to16, of a 9-cent increase to the barge diesel fuel user fee.

Finance

Transpacific Box Shippers Plan Freight Rate Rise

A container shipping organisation urged companies on Wednesday to raise Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Jan. 15, corresponding to an increase of 26.

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

Liebherr Expects Turnover Dip

For the 2014 business year, the Liebherr Group is currently anticipating an overall turnover of 8,866 million euros (2013: 8,964 million euros). In the area of construction machines and mining,

Container Ships

Los Angeles Container Volumes Drop

November container volumes down 3 percent at Port of Los Angeles; year-to-date volumes up 6.5 percent   Overall containerized cargo volumes in November 2014 have

Transpacific Box Shippers Plan Freight Rate Rise

A container shipping organisation urged companies on Wednesday to raise Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Jan. 15, corresponding to an increase of 26.

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

People in the News

Duffy Named President of Carnival Cruise Line

Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation & plc. announced today.   Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA),

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

USCG Commandant to Address PVA Convention

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft will attend the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. and deliver a keynote

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1931 sec (5 req/sec)