New Orleans, Louisiana - Two executives were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Miami for their role in a conspiracy to fix prices of international freight forwarding services, the Department of Justice announced today. Roberto Dip and Jason Handal were charged with fixing prices in June 2018, and pleaded guilty in November 2018. A magistrate judge in Miami ordered Dip detained pending trial; he served over five months in jail before being released on bond.
Dip, the president and CEO of a Louisiana-based freight forwarding company, and Handal, the company’s manager, organized meetings throughout the United States where they reached agreements with their competitors to fix the prices for freight forwarding services provided in the United States and elsewhere from at least as early as September 2010 until at least March 2015. Dip was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, with credit for time served. Handal was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. Each executive was also sentenced to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and to three years of supervised release.
“These defendants’ conduct raised freight-forwarding prices by as much as 20 percent, victimizing vulnerable consumers and individuals sending gifts and household goods to family members and loved ones for holidays,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s sentences reflect the significant harm that the defendants caused, and should send a message to other would-be price-fixers that this crime will not go unpunished.”
“This investigation is an example of the FBI’s commitment to investigating individuals when they operate outside the law to conspire to fix prices in the consumer marketplace,” stated Eric J. Rommal, FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge. “I would like to thank the investigative team and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division prosecutors who have worked on this complex investigation and are committed to holding those accountable who disregard the rule of law for their own financial gain. The FBI will continue to work to protect consumers against all forms of fraud, deceit, and illegal activity.”
The ongoing investigation into price fixing in the international freight forwarding industry is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section and the FBI’s New Orleans Division. Anyone with information in connection with this investigation is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section at 202-307-6694, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.