HOUSTON (Dec. 4, 2007) — A British consultant to the marine hose industry and two executives of Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd. have been indicted for alleged participation in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices and allocate market share in the marine hose business.
Peter Whittle, sole proprietor of PW Consulting (Oil & Marine) Ltd., was indicted along with Bryan Allison, managing director of Dunlop Oil & Marine, and David Brammar, the Grimsby, England-based firm's sales and marketing director.
According to the indictment, the three men were involved in the conspiracy from 1999 until their arrest in May 2007.
They and others agreed during meetings and discussions to allocate shares of the market, devise a price list for marine hose and submit bids in accordance with their mutual agreement, according to the indictment.
Whittle also served as the clearinghouse for illegally sharing customer information with the other conspirators, the indictment stated.
On Nov. 6, two other accused conspirators — Christian Caleca, president of the Industrial Fluid Systems unit of Trelleborg Industrie S.A.S. of Clermont-Ferrand, France, and Jacques Cognard, Trelleborg S.A.S.'s product area manager for oil and marine products — pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.
In exchange for their cooperation with the Justice Department, they received sentences of 14 months each and also agreed to pay fines. Officials of Dunlop Oil & Marine and the Justice Department could not immediately be reached for further comment.