Companies to plead in marine bid-rig scam

April 22, 2009 at 4:32 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., April 22 (UPI) -- Two subsidiaries of a Sweden's Trelleborg AB have agreed to plead guilty to bid-rigging charges in the United States and France, officials said.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Virginia Harbor Services and Trelleborg Industries France were charged in separate cases for allegedly fixing prices and rigging bids for marine products sold in the United States.

The agency said in a written statement that Virginia Harbor Services is a supplier of foam buoys and fenders used by large ships. The French company sells hoses used aboard oil tankers.

The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that court documents said Virginia Harbor Services colluded with other companies to avoid bidding against one another in order to keep prices inflated.

The Justice Department said it spent years investigating the scheme.

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