This document is available in three formats: this web page (for browsing content), PDF (comparable to original document formatting), and WordPerfect.  To view the PDF you will need Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded from the Adobe site. For an official signed copy, please contact the Antitrust Documents Group.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  


                  v.

IAN G. HUTCHINSON,

                 Defendant.


|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|         

Criminal No. 02-711

Filed: 9-27-02

Violation: 15 U.S.C. 1



INFORMATION

The defendant having waived in open court prosecution by Indictment, the United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:

I

DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE

1. Ian G. Hutchinson is made a defendant on the charge stated below.

2. Beginning at least as early as February 1996 and continuing until at least December 1997, the exact dates being unknown to the United States, the defendant and co-conspirators entered into and participated in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the price of carbon cathode block sold in the United States and elsewhere. The combination and conspiracy engaged in by the defendant and co-conspirators was in unreasonable restraint of interstate and foreign trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § 1).

3. The charged combination and conspiracy consisted of a continuing agreement, understanding, and concert of action among the defendant and co-conspirators, the substantial terms of which were to agree to fix and maintain prices and to coordinate pricing for the sale of carbon cathode block in the United States and elsewhere.

II

MEANS AND METHODS OF THE CONSPIRACY

4. For the purpose of forming and carrying out the charged combination and conspiracy, the defendant and co-conspirators did those things that they combined and conspired to do, including, among other things:

  1. participating in meetings and conversations in Asia and Europe to discuss the prices of carbon cathode block sold in the United States and elsewhere;

  2. agreeing, during those meetings and conversations, to charge prices at certain levels and otherwise to increase and maintain prices of carbon cathode block sold in the United States and elsewhere; and

  3. exchanging sales and customer information for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the terms of the above-described agreement.

III

DEFENDANT AND CO-CONSPIRATORS

5. Ian G. Hutchinson is a non-resident alien working in the United States and a citizen of the United Kingdom. From the beginning of the period covered by this Information, until January 9, 1997, Ian G. Hutchinson was the Commercial and Business Development Director of Hepworth Refractories, Ltd. From January 10, 1997, to the end of the period covered by this Information, Ian G. Hutchinson was the Director of Marketing Operations and Business Development of Hepworth Refractories, Ltd. Hepworth Refractories, Ltd. was a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the United Kingdom with its principal place of business in Sheffield, England. Also during the relevant period, Ian G. Hutchinson was a Director of Hepworth Refractories, Inc., a company organized and existing under the laws of Ohio. Hepworth Refractories, Ltd., sold carbon cathode block in the United States through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hepworth Refractories, Inc. During the relevant period, Hepworth Refractories, Ltd., and Ian G. Hutchinson were engaged in the manufacture and sale of carbon cathode block to customers in the United States and elsewhere.

6. Various corporations and individuals not made defendants herein participated as co-conspirators in the offense charged herein and performed acts and made statements in furtherance thereof.

7. Wherever in this Information reference is made to any act, deed, or transaction of a corporation, the allegation means that the corporation engaged in the act, deed, or transaction by or through its officers, directors, agents, employees or representatives while they were actively engaged in the management, direction, control, or transaction of its business or affairs.

IV

TRADE AND COMMERCE

8. Carbon cathode block is a carbon product with great strength and resistance to heat and chemical reaction. Because of its superior conductivity properties, it is commonly used in aluminum smelters or pots in the production of primary aluminum. Carbon cathode block as used herein shall mean cathode blocks used in the production of primary aluminum, but not including graphitized cathode block.

9. Total sales of carbon cathode block in the United States are estimated to be in excess of approximately $40 million during the term of the conspiracy charged.

10. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant and co-conspirators sold a substantial quantity of carbon cathode block in a continuous and uninterrupted flow of interstate and foreign trade and commerce to customers located in states or countries other than the states or countries in which the carbon cathode block was produced.

11. During the period covered by this Information, the activities of the defendant and co-conspirators that are the subject of this Information were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and foreign trade and commerce.

V

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

12. The combination and conspiracy charged in this Information was carried out, in part, within the District of New Jersey within the five years preceding the filing of this Information.


ALL IN VIOLATION OF TITLE 15, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 1.


Dated: 9-19-02


_______________/s/________________
CHARLES A. JAMES
Assistant Attorney General

_______________/s/________________
JAMES M. GRIFFIN
Deputy Assistant Attorney General



_______________/s/________________
SCOTT D. HAMMOND
Director of Criminal Enforcement

Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice

_______________/s/________________
CHRISTOPHER J. CHRISTIE
United States Attorney for the
District of New Jersey

_______________/s/________________
ROBERT E. CONNOLLY
Chief, Philadelphia Office

_______________/s/________________
EDWARD S. PANEK
PEDRO DE LA TORRE
Attorneys, Antitrust Division

U.S. Department of Justice
Philadelphia Office
The Curtis Center, Suite 650W
170 S. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel.: (215) 597-7401