June 12, 2008
Hose scam Brits get U.K. jail sentences
Three British nationals arrested in Houston during OTC 2007 in a marine hose bid rigging and price fixing case have been sentenced to serve lengthy jail terms in the U.K.
The U.K. Crown Court sentenced Peter Whittle to serve 36 months in jail, Bryan Allison to 36 months in jail and David Brammar to 30 months in jail.
Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, issued the following statement on the sentencing.
"Defendants Whittle, Brammar and Allison were charged with violating U.S. antitrust laws by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares in the United States. The Antitrust Division entered into plea agreements with the defendants to resolve those charges, and those agreements were accepted by the presiding judge when the defendants pled guilty last December. The terms of those agreements provided that the defendants would receive credit toward their sentences in the United States for any prison sentence imposed in the United Kingdom.
"It is, of course, a matter for the U.K. justice system to determine the appropriate sentences for crimes in the United Kingdom. We are pleased with the outcome of today's hearing. The jail sentences imposed should carry a strong deterrent message to members of international cartels that victimize businesses and consumers in the United States and abroad."
On December 12, 2007, Whittle, sole proprietor of PW Consulting (Oil and Marine) Ltd.; Allison, managing director of Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd.; and Brammar, Dunlop's sales and marketing director; pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Houston to participating in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices and allocate market shares of marine hose sold in the United States. Under the plea agreements, Whittle agreed to serve 30 months in jail, Allison agreed to serve 24 months in jail and Brammar agreed to serve 20 months in jail.
[As part of their plea agreements, Whittle and Allison also each agreed to pay a $100,000 fine, and Brammar agreed to pay a $75,000 fine.]
The district judge deferred imposing sentence on the three to allow them to be prosecuted by authorities in the United Kingdom. Under the terms of the plea agreements, after entering their guilty pleas in Houston, the defendants were escorted back to the U.K., where they were charged with the offenses in the U.K. for which they were sentenced yesterday.
The U.K. Crown Court sentenced Whittle to serve 36 months in jail, Allison to 36 months in jail and Brammar to 30 months in jail.