Guilty Pleas in Michigan Bid Rigging Conspiracy – Two Companies and Individuals Held Accountable

Guilty Pleas in Michigan Bid Rigging Conspiracy – Two Companies and Individuals Held Accountable

Two Michigan-based companies, Asphalt Specialists LLC and Al’s Asphalt Paving Company Inc., along with individuals Bruce F. Israel and Edward D. Swanson, have pleaded guilty for their involvement in bid-rigging conspiracies related to asphalt paving services contracts in the State of Michigan.

Conspiracies and Defendants:

Court documents and proceedings revealed that the defendants engaged in bid-rigging conspiracies from March 2013 through November 2018.

Asphalt Specialists and Bruce F. Israel conspired with Al’s Asphalt and Edward D. Swanson, while also participating in a separate conspiracy with F. Allied Construction Company Inc. from July 2017 through May 2021.

Al’s Asphalt and Swanson were involved in another conspiracy with Allied and its employees from June 2013 through June 2019.

Allied and two of its executives had previously pleaded guilty in August 2023 for their role in the conspiracies with Asphalt Specialists LLC and Al’s Asphalt.

Operational Pattern of Conspiracies:

Each conspiracy operated similarly, involving coordinated bid prices among co-conspirators to ensure that the agreed-upon losing company submitted intentionally non-competitive bids.

This deceptive practice created a false appearance of competition while the conspirators had already predetermined the winning contracts among themselves.

Law Enforcement Statements:

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Manish Kumar emphasized the importance of competition in responsible taxpayer spending, while Special Agent in Charge Andrea M. Kropf of the DOT OIG stressed accountability for bid rigging schemes.

Executive Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely of the USPS OIG emphasized the victory against bid-rigging and collusion and the commitment to investigate anticompetitive practices.

Legal Consequences and Maximum Penalties:

The defendants pleaded guilty to violating Section One of the Sherman Act. Individuals face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine, while corporations face a $100 million criminal fine.

The fine may be increased based on gains derived from the crime or losses suffered by victims.

Ongoing Federal Antitrust Investigation:

The case was part of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into bid rigging and anticompetitive conduct in the asphalt paving services industry.

The Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office, DOT OIG, and USPS OIG collaborated on the investigation.

Conclusion:

The guilty pleas underscore the commitment of law enforcement to combat bid rigging and anticompetitive practices in the asphalt paving services industry.

The ongoing federal investigation signifies a broader effort to maintain fair competition and curb fraudulent activities within infrastructure-related contracts.

Individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact the Antitrust Division’s Complaint Center.

TDPel Media

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