The US Department of Justice reported that it prosecuted 44 individuals in FY 2014 for antitrust violations. Many actions are brought against companies, but individual executives can also be charged with criminal violations of the federal anti-competition laws.
Criminal activities that are governed by the federal statutes include price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation schemes. Of the 44 prosecutions in 2014, the DOJ says that 22 of the defendants were executives in auto parts companies. 11 defendants were real estate investors.
In the past twenty-five years, the average number of antitrust prosecutions per year has risen from 13 in the 1990’s to 29 between 2010 and 2014. In other words, the DOJ has more than doubled its average number of prosecutions. In addition, the average prison sentence for convictions has also more than tripled during the same time. In the 1990’s, the average prison sentence for convictions was 8 months. Today, the average prison sentence for the same crimes is 25 months.
This signals the federal government’s plan to pursue more prosecutions and more aggressive prosecutions for antitrust violations. In addition to more prosecutions and longer jail terms, the federal government is expanding its sphere of influence. In 2013, the Department of Justice secured its first ever extradition of a foreign national for prosecution on anti-competitive practices in the US. That extradition was quickly followed by a second extradition in an unrelated case.
Ventura County Antitrust Lawyer
The greater Los Angeles area is a prime target for federal prosecutions because so much business is conducted here. The Port of Los Angeles is the largest port in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. Each year, the Port of Los Angeles handles more than $300 billion in goods coming to and leaving from the United States. It is an area of prime interest for the federal government, and the DOJ is getting very good at breaking up multinational antitrust conspiracies. Having a foreign address may not offer much protection against federal investigators.
That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. If you’re facing federal antitrust charges, don’t settle for an inexperienced lawyer! Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience at both the state and federal levels.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County antitrust case.
Photo Credit: Kyle Brown, via Flickr.com