On April 4, 2014, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the first successfully litigated extradition on an antitrust charge. The DOJ extradited an Italian national to the United States from Germany on a charge of participating in a criminal bid rigging, price fixing, and market allocation cartel involving marine hose. A former executive of an Italian marine hose manufacturer was arrested in Germany in June 2013 for his role in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose. Marine hose is a flexible rubber hose used to transfer oil between tankers and storage facilities. The Italian is charged with violating the Sherman Act by joining and participating in the conspiracy from at least as early as 1999 until at least November 2006. The Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine for individuals. The DOJ’s extradition announcement implicates that companies and individuals must fear DOJ investigations even where the criminal cartel activity occurred outside the United States or where the individual is outside the United States. This successful extradition reminds companies and individuals that the DOJ continues to seek extradition where it deems it appropriate. Read the DOJ’s announcement here.
Nicolai Behr is a compliance and dispute resolution attorney in Baker & McKenzie’s Munich office. He is a member of the steering committee of GlobalComplianceNews, a compliance news website with global reach moderated by Baker & McKenzie. He is a member of the committee "International" of the German Institute for Compliance. Dr. Behr is a regular speaker on compliance and white collar topics.