PALM BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2008) — A jury in the Palm Beach federal district court took two hours to acquit two executives of Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. on charges of conspiring to fix prices, rig bids and allocate market shares in the rubber marine hose industry.
Val M. Northcutt, a technician and installer of marine hose for Manuli, and Francesco Scaglia, a product manager for Manuli marine hose, were exonerated Nov. 10 after a four-week trial. According to Northcutt's attorneys, the two men's former bosses, Robert L. Furness and Charles J. Gillespie, testified against Northcutt and Scaglia in exchange for reduced sentences, as did Peter Whittle, the alleged ringleader of the conspiracy.
Northcutt and Scaglia's attorneys argued successfully that the testimony of Furness, Gillespie and Whittle was false. “Today's swift not guilty verdict affirms our position throughout the case—that Mr. Northcutt acted properly and with integrity and honesty,” said Paul A. Calli, an attorney for Northcutt, in a press release.
David O. Markus, an attorney for Scaglia, said his client was excited about returning home to his family in Italy after 17 months facing trial.
Justice Department officials could not be reached for comment because of the Veteran's Day holiday.