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Executive Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing on Automobile Parts...

Date: August 5, 2014

An executive of Japanese auto parts maker G.S. Electech Inc. pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to serve 13 months in a U.S. prison for his role in an international conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices on auto parts used on antilock brake systems installed in U.S. cars, the Department of Justice announced.

Shingo Okuda, the former Engineering and Sales Division Manager for G.S. Electech, pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in Covington, to a one count charge of bid rigging and price fixing.

As part of his plea agreement, Okuda also agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation and to pay a $20,000 criminal fine.

On Sept. 11, 2013, a federal grand jury in Covington, Kentucky, returned an indictment against Okuda, charging him with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices of speed sensor wire assemblies, which are installed in automobiles with an antilock brake system (ABS), sold to Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc., in the United States and elsewhere.

According to the indictment, Okuda and his co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by, among other things, agreeing during meetings and discussions to coordinate bids and fix prices of automotive parts submitted to Toyota.   The indictment charged Okuda with participating in the conspiracy beginning at least as early as January 2003 until at least February 2010.  

 
“Today’s guilty plea is a victory for consumers, who deserve to know that the essential parts used in their automobiles are not subject to anticompetitive agreements,” said Brent Snyder, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.   “The Antitrust Division remains committed to holding executives accountable for behavior that undermines the competitive marketplace.”

Read Full Release from the Department of Justice Here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/July/14-at-806.html

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