US freight forwarding executives sentenced to prison terms for price fixing

US freight forwarding executives sentenced to prison terms for price fixing

The US Department of Justice has reported that two executives from the Louisiana-based freight forwarding company Dip Shipping were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Miami for their role in a conspiracy to fix prices of international freight forwarding services.

In a statement issued yesterday (25 June), the Department of Justice said: “Roberto Dip and Jason Handal were charged with fixing prices in June 2018, and pleaded guilty in November 2018.  A magistrate judge in Miami ordered Dip detained pending trial; he served over five months in jail before being released on bond.”

The statement added that Dip, the company’s president and CEO, and Handal, the company’s manager, “organized meetings throughout the United States where they reached agreements with their competitors to fix the prices for freight forwarding services provided in the United States and elsewhere from at least as early as September 2010 until at least March 2015”.

Dip was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, with credit for time served. Handal was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment.  Each was also sentenced to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and to three years of supervised release.

“These defendants’ conduct raised freight-forwarding prices by as much 20%, victimising vulnerable consumers and individuals sending gifts and household goods to family members and loved ones for holidays,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s sentences reflect the significant harm that the defendants caused, and should send a message to other would-be price-fixers that this crime will not go unpunished.”

The ongoing investigation into price fixing in the international freight forwarding industry is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section and the FBI’s New Orleans Division.

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