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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Maersk Falls into the Red

Maersk Line posted a steep decline in profit last year to $1.3bn, well down from the 2014 result of $2.3bn and below its most recent forecast as freight rate declines

Maersk Line to Face Miserable 2016

In a video interview Group CEO of AP Møller-Maersk Nils S. Andersen comments on the 2015 full year result, low oil and freight rates, and the challenges and opportunities

Shipping Firms Poised to Settle EU Probe

Fifteen container liner shipping companies "have offered to change their pricing practices to settle an EU antitrust probe and stave off possible fines," according

Contracts

Six New VLCCs Marks the Start of a Busy Delivery Year

2016 is off to a flying start when it comes to delivering brand new VLCCs from shipyards in South Korea and China to owners and investor across the globe, says a report BIMCO.

BAE Systems Awarded £201m to Advance Successor Sub Design

The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems £201 million to further the design of a successor to the Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines.   The

Indonesian Navy Orders MAN Engine for Training Ship

MAN Diesel & Turbo has received an order for an MAN 6L21/31 engine to power a newbuilding cadet training sailing ship for the Defence Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia.

Legal

Shipping Firms Poised to Settle EU Probe

Fifteen container liner shipping companies "have offered to change their pricing practices to settle an EU antitrust probe and stave off possible fines," according

Liberia to Receive Preferential Flag Status with Respect to Chinese Tonnage Dues

Pursuant to the Maritime Transport Agreement signed between the Republic of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China on 3 November 2015, Liberia will be added

SBM Offshore: US Authorities Reopen Corruption Probe

SBM Offshore, the world's top oil production ship leasing company, said on Wednesday that U.S. authorities had re-opened an inquiry into bribery allegations involving the Dutch company.

Finance

Maersk Falls into the Red

Maersk Line posted a steep decline in profit last year to $1.3bn, well down from the 2014 result of $2.3bn and below its most recent forecast as freight rate declines

Maersk Line to Face Miserable 2016

In a video interview Group CEO of AP Møller-Maersk Nils S. Andersen comments on the 2015 full year result, low oil and freight rates, and the challenges and opportunities

Six New VLCCs Marks the Start of a Busy Delivery Year

2016 is off to a flying start when it comes to delivering brand new VLCCs from shipyards in South Korea and China to owners and investor across the globe, says a report BIMCO.

Container Ships

Hapag-Lloyd Buys Two Boxships

Hapag-Lloyd has bought two 2015-built, 3,500 teu wide-beam design containerships for deployment in its South America trades for an undisclosed price from NileDutch,

Sydney Deep Water Port Project Named NOVAPORTE

The Harbor Port Development Partners (HPDP) and the Port of Sydney announce the new brand for Sydney’s new container terminal: NOVAPORTE and its adjacent logistics park NOVAZONE.

Top 10 Shipowning Nations by Value

VesselsValue has provided a list ranking the top shipowning nations by value, including the percentage change difference against 2015 figures. Although the

People in the News

Guy Harvey to be Honored by Seafarer's House

Guy Harvey – artist, conservationist and entrepreneur – has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Seafarers’ House International Golden Compass Award. The

Delia Succeeds Schmidt as Ohmsett Program Manager

MAR Incorporated has named John Delia the Program manager for Ohmsett – The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, succeeding Bill Schmidt who retired in December 2015.

OTC Names 2016 Award Winners

The 2016 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) will honor this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award recipients on Tuesday, 3 May, in Houston.   As part of the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Salvage 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: 0.1317 sec (8 req/sec)