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Criminal Antitrust

The Law Offices of Brian Getz defends individuals and companies charged with conspiracy and Sherman Act violations.

In the US, a key aspect of our practice is the defense of private antitrust litigation which can follow in the wake of the announcement of a government investigation.  The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice has gotten more aggressive in its criminal enforcement in recent years. In its current investigation of the auto-parts industry, the Department of Justice may net the largest criminal fines and jail sentences of any investigation in history. So far, several companies and individuals have been charged, with more than three quarters of a billion dollars in fines collected and several  individuals agreeing to go to jail.

Fines for Criminal Antitrust Claims Can Be in the Millions

The Department of Justice uses the United States Sentencing Guidelines as the framework for determining a company’s fine in antitrust cases. The agreed-upon fine can reach well over the $100 million statutory maximum in a plea situation, as was seen in past investigations. Many companies agree to this because they do not want to risk being sentenced to pay fines under the alternative fine statute, which allows fines up to twice the gain or loss of the alleged conspiracy. In calculating the fines, the Department of Justice will look to the gain or loss of the conspiracy as a whole and not only that of the defendant company on trial.