Concrete Company Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing
According to a one-count felony charge filed on August 15th in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, Iowa, Great Lakes Concrete Inc., a producer of ready-mix concrete with headquarters in Spencer, Iowa, participated in a conspiracy with another ready-mix concrete company to fix prices and rig bids for ready-mix concrete sold in the northern district of Iowa. The Justice Department said Great Lakes Concrete participated in the price fixing scheme as early as January of 2008 and continuing through August of 2009.
According to court documents, Kent Stewart, the president of Great Lakes Concrete, participated in the conspiracy by engaging in conversations and reaching agreements regarding the conspirators' price list and project bids for ready-mix concrete sold in the northern district of Iowa. Great Lakes then accepted payment for those sales at collusive and noncompetitive prices.
Great Lakes Concrete is charged with violating the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $100 million for corporations. 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.
The guilty plea arose from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation of the ready-mix concrete industry in Iowa and surrounding states. As a result of the investigation, three individuals have been convicted and sentenced to serve prision time. Including Great Lakes Concrete, four ready-mix concrete companies have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
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