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 May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

WCI Applauds Increased USACE Funding

Today WCI applauded the leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

MPC Honors Crowley for Tank Vessel Safety

Crowley Maritime Corporation’s petroleum services division has once again been honored by Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC) with its annual Elite Vessel Award, which

Contracts

DMW Marine Takes the Lead in Military Cranes

DMW Marine Group, LLC. has completed a number of projects for the U.S. Navy and foreign Navies in recent years, claiming a place as a go-to supplier for Navy departments globally.

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

Two ASC Kalmar Cranes for DP World Brisbane

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has received an order from DP World Australia to deliver two new Kalmar automatic stacking cranes (ASCs) for its semi-automated terminal in Brisbane.

Legal

Myanmar Finds 200 Bangladeshis in Offshore Boat

Myanmar's navy found a boat carrying more than 200 Bangladeshis, the government said on Friday, after the military chief said some migrants landing in Malaysia

Two ASC Kalmar Cranes for DP World Brisbane

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has received an order from DP World Australia to deliver two new Kalmar automatic stacking cranes (ASCs) for its semi-automated terminal in Brisbane.

DP World Extends Title Sponsorship Until 2020

Dubai is set to remain at the epicenter of golf on The European Tour for the foreseeable future after global port operator DP World announced today that it will

Finance

US Funding for Air Emissions/Alternative Energy Projects

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to $1.3 million in Federal funding is now available through cooperative agreements for projects supporting

WCI Applauds Increased USACE Funding

Today WCI applauded the leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

Container Ships

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

HSH Bank to Split Off Bad Shipping Loans

German lender HSH Nordbank could split off a "bad bank" for non-performing shipping loans as part of a plan to create a sustainable business model, according to a person familiar with the matter.

18 Kalmar RT 240s for US DoD

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has received an order to supply a further 18 rough terrain container handlers to the United States Department of Defense. Destined to replace older equipment,

People in the News

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

WFP: Aid Cargo for Yemen will be Delivered After Ship Docks

The World Food Programme will deliver a cargo of Iranian aid for Yemen once the ship carrying it reaches Djibouti's port, the U.N agency said on Friday. Earlier

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.4873 sec (2 req/sec)