WASHINGTON (May 16)—Former Bayer A.G. rubber chemicals executive Wolfgang Koch has agreed to plead guilty, serve time in prison and pay a criminal fine for his role in an international conspiracy to fix prices in the rubber chemicals market.
According to the Department of Justice, Koch—product manager of rubber chemicals at Bayer during the time he participated in the conspiracy—was charged with fixing the prices of certain rubber chemicals sold in the U.S. and elsewhere from January 1999 until December 2001.
Koch, a German national, has agreed to serve a four-month prison term, pay a $50,000 fine and assist the government in its ongoing rubber chemicals investigation. The plea agreement must still be approved by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where the felony case was filed.
Koch is the second Bayer executive and fourth industry figure to plead guilty in the U.S. in the price-fixing conspiracy. Earlier Martin Petersen, a former Bayer executive, and Joseph B. Eisenberg and James J. Conway, both former Crompton Corp. executives, pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy and now await sentencing.