SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 11)—A U.S. Federal Grand Jury has indicted former Bayer A.G. executives JÃ¼rgen Ick and GÃ¼nter Monn for participating in an international price-fixing conspiracy in the rubber chemicals industry.
In separate indictments, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the grand jury charged Ick—head of Bayer´s rubber business group from the mid-1990s through 2002—and Gunter Monn—formerly head of marketing—with conspiring with other corporate and individual co-conspirators to suppress competition by fixing the prices of rubber chemicals sold in the U.S. and elsewhere, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ick and Monn were charged with violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $350,000 fine.
Ick was charged with participating in the conspiracy from 1995 to 2001; Monn was charged with participating from about January 1997 forward. Both Ick and Monn are German citizens residing there now.
Thus far, more than $200 million in criminal fines have resulted from the Antitrust Division´s ongoing investigations of price fixing of various rubber-related products. Over the past 18 months the division has obtained guilty pleas from five companies—Bayer A.G., Syndial S.p.A., Crompton Corp., DuPont Dow Elastomers, Zeon Chemicals—and including today´s charges, a total of six executives.
"Anyone who participates in these type of international conspiracies that defraud Americans millions of dollars faces great risk of being caught and prosecuted, no matter where they are located or where they commit their crime," said Thomas O. Barnett, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the department´s antitrust division.