DOJ Snares Two More Guilty Pleas in Ongoing Criminal Investigation of Commercial Flooring Business | The Volkov Law Group

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has experienced a tough yr in the felony arena.  Though the Antitrust Division has aggressively blocked a number of proposed mergers, it has lost a number of important prison conditions. 

The Antitrust Division missing two considerable cases for price tag-correcting in the labor marketplace and is now in the middle of a third prison trial from 5 defendants in the chicken manufacturing market.  The Division suffered two mistrials and persuaded the district choose to permit a third demo.  DOJ restructured the case and appointed new prosecutors for the third trial.

Past week, Business Carpet Consultants, Inc., a industrial flooring contractor, and Jerry Watson, its former president, plead guilty to bid-rigging and cost-repairing rates and agree to shell out a $1.2 million great.  Commercial Carpet is the fourth company to plead responsible in an ongoing investigation in the business flooring marketplace.  Watson is the sixth specific to plead guilty to charges stemming from the investigation. 

Commercial Carpet and Watson admitted to collusive agreements with competition from 2009 until finally June 2017.  Business Carpet and Watson agreed with opponents to suppress competitiveness in the award of contracts from bidding methods.  The members of the conspiracy submitted complementary bids so that the specified enterprise would get the contract.

The commercial carpet firms seek out contracts with govt companies to eliminate flooring, prepare the surfaces for new flooring, and put in new flooring, which include carpet, wood, vinyl, tile and laminate flooring.

A few other businesses have plead guilty in this investigation — Mr. David’s Flooring Intercontinental, PCI FlorTech, and Vortex Business Flooring. 

The 1st prosecution associated prices in April 2019 versus Michael Gannon, the former vice president of product sales for a flooring firm. PCI FlorTech was the first organization to plead guilty in August 2019.  PCI FlorTech agreed to cooperate.  The up coming calendar year, Vortex plead responsible and agreed to spend $1.4 million and cooperate in the probe of the field.

Subsequently, Mr. David’s Flooring agreed to pay back $1.2 million in fines soon after pleading responsible to bid-rigging and cash laundering. Mr. David’s Flooring hid kickback payments built to an account executive of a flooring manufacturer in trade for discount rates. 

The account government plead responsible to antitrust and revenue laundering violations in March 2020.  3 former executives from Vortex plead responsible to antitrust charges.  In September 2021, Michael Zmijewski, the previous president of Mr. David’s Flooring, was indicted for dollars laundering.

A violation of the Sherman Act carries a statutory maximum penalty of a $100 million felony fine for organizations.  For individuals, a Sherman Act violation carries a optimum penalty of 10 several years in prison and a $1 million felony wonderful.