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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 09-CR-60103-COHN
15 U.S.C. § 1



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,    

                  v.

TRELLEBORG INDUSTRIE S.A.S.,     

                  Defendant.


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Filed: 5/15/2009


PLEA AGREEMENT

The United States of America and Trelleborg Industrie S.A.S. ("defendant" or "TISAS"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of France, hereby enter into the following Plea Agreement pursuant to Rule 11(c)(1)(C) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure ("Fed. R. Crim. P."):

RIGHTS OF DEFENDANT

1. The defendant understands its rights:

  1. to be represented by an attorney;
  2. to be charged by Indictment;
  3. as a corporation organized and existing under the laws of France, to decline to accept service of the Summons in this case, and to contest the jurisdiction of the United States to prosecute this case against it in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida;
  4. to plead not guilty to any criminal charge brought against it;
  5. to have a trial by jury, at which it would be presumed not guilty of the charge and the United States would have to prove every essential element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt for it to be found guilty;
  6. to confront and cross-examine witnesses against it and to subpoena witnesses in its defense at trial;
  7. to appeal its conviction if it is found guilty; and
  8. to appeal the imposition of sentence against it.

AGREEMENT TO PLEAD GUILTY
AND WAIVE CERTAIN RIGHTS

2. The defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the rights set out in Paragraph 1(b)-(g) above, including all jurisdictional defenses to the prosecution of this case, and agrees voluntarily to consent to the jurisdiction of the United States solely to prosecute this case against it in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The defendant also knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to file any appeal, any collateral attack, or any other writ or motion, including but not limited to an appeal under 18 U.S.C. § 3742, that challenges the sentence imposed by the Court if that sentence is consistent with or below the recommended sentence in Paragraph 8 of this Plea Agreement, regardless of how the sentence is determined by the Court. This agreement does not affect the rights or obligations of the United States as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3742(b)-(c). Nothing in this paragraph, however, shall act as a bar to the defendant perfecting any legal remedies it may otherwise have on appeal or collateral attack respecting claims of ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct. The defendant agrees that there is currently no known evidence of ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(b), the defendant will waive indictment and plead guilty at arraignment to a one-count Information which is filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Information charges the defendant with participating in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose sold in the United States and elsewhere, beginning at least as early as 1999 and continuing until as late as May 2, 2007, in unreasonable restraint of foreign and interstate trade and commerce in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.

3. The defendant, pursuant to the terms of this Plea Agreement, will plead guilty to the criminal charge described in Paragraph 2 above. The United States will state the factual basis for the plea to the Court in accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 11, as set forth in Paragraph 4 below.

FACTUAL BASIS FOR OFFENSE CHARGED

4. Had this case gone to trial, the United States would have presented evidence sufficient to prove the following facts:

  1. For purposes of this Plea Agreement, the "relevant period" is that period beginning at least as early as 1999 and continuing until as late as May 2, 2007. During the relevant period, the defendant was a corporation organized and existing under the laws of France. The defendant has its principal place of business in Clermont-Ferrand, France. During the relevant period, the defendant manufactured marine hose in France, and sold marine hose in the United States and elsewhere. Marine hose is a flexible rubber hose used to transfer oil between tankers and storage facilities and/or buoys.
  2. During the relevant period, the defendant and co-conspirators entered into and engaged in a conspiracy, the primary purpose of which was to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose sold in the United States and elsewhere. During the period 1999 to May 2, 2007, the volume of U.S. commerce attributable to the defendant totaled at least $10 million.
  3. In furtherance of the conspiracy, the defendant, through certain managers, engaged in discussions and attended meetings with representatives of other marine hose manufacturers. During such meetings and discussions, the co-conspirators agreed to rig bids, fix prices and allocate market shares for the sale of marine hose in the United States and elsewhere. Each of the conspiring manufacturers provided a co-conspirator, who acted as a coordinator, with information about upcoming marine hose jobs. The coordinator then designated, based on rules agreed to by the conspirators, which of the conspiring manufacturers would win the job, referring to the winning conspirator as "champion." After the champion had been designated, the coordinator provided the other conspirators with instructions regarding how much to bid on the job to ensure that the designated champion would win the job.
  4. During the relevant period, marine hose sold by one or more of the conspirator firms, and equipment and supplies necessary to the production and distribution of marine hose, as well as payments for marine hose, traveled in interstate and foreign commerce. The business activities of the defendant and co-conspirators in connection with the manufacture and/or sale of marine hose affected by this conspiracy were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and foreign trade and commerce.
  5. Acts in furtherance of this conspiracy were carried out within the Southern District of Florida within the relevant period. On at least one occasion, members of the conspiracy, including representatives of the defendant, attended a meeting in Monroe County during which the conspirators discussed the implementation of the conspiracy. Monroe County is within the Southern District of Florida.

POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE

5. The defendant understands that the statutory maximum penalty which may be imposed against it upon conviction for a violation of Section One of the Sherman Antitrust Act is a fine in an amount equal to the greatest of:

  1. $100 million (15 U.S.C. § 1);
  2. twice the gross pecuniary gain the conspirators derived from the crime (18 U.S.C. § 3571(c) and (d)); or
  3. twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime by the conspirators (18 U.S.C. § 3571(c) and (d)).

6. In addition, the defendant understands that:

  1. pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3561(c)(1), the Court may impose a term of probation of at least one year, but not more than five years;
  2. pursuant to §8B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("U.S.S.G.," "Sentencing Guidelines," or "Guidelines") or 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(2) or 3663(a)(3), the Court may order it to pay restitution to the victims of the offense; and
  3. pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013(a)(2)(B), the Court is required to order the defendant to pay a $400 special assessment upon conviction for the charged crime.

SENTENCING GUIDELINES

7. The defendant understands that the Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, not mandatory, but that the Court must consider the Guidelines in effect on the day of sentencing, along with the other factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), in determining and imposing sentence. The defendant understands that the Guidelines determinations will be made by the Court by a preponderance of the evidence standard. The defendant understands that although the Court is not ultimately bound to impose a sentence within the applicable Guidelines range, its sentence must be reasonable based upon consideration of all relevant sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 1B1.8, the United States agrees that self-incriminating information that the defendant provides to the United States pursuant to this Plea Agreement will not be used to increase the volume of affected commerce attributable to the defendant or in determining the defendant's applicable Guidelines range, except to the extent provided in U.S.S.G. §1B1.8(b). Pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 6B1.4, the United States and the defendant enter into the following stipulations:

  1. The base fine for the offense to which the defendant is pleading guilty, as established by U.S.S.G. § 2R1.1(d)(1), is $2 million.
  2. During the relevant period, the defendant had more than 200, but fewer than 1,000, employees, and an individual within high-level personnel of the organization participated in, condoned, or was willfully ignorant of the offense, within the meaning of U.S.S.G. § 8C2.5(b)(3), which increases the defendant's U.S.S.G. § 8C2.5 culpability score by three points.
  3. The defendant clearly demonstrated recognition and affirmative acceptance of responsibility for its criminal conduct, within the meaning of U.S.S.G. § 8C2.5(g)(3), which decreases the defendant's U.S.S.G. § 8C2.5 culpability score by 1 point.
  4. Based on the foregoing, the defendant's U.S.S.G. § 8C2.5 culpability score is 7, which yields minimum and maximum fine multipliers, as determined in U.S.S.G. § 8C2.6, of 1.4 and 2.8. Therefore, the defendant's appropriate Guidelines fine range is $2.8 million to $5.6 million.

SENTENCING AGREEMENT

8. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), the United States and the defendant agree that the appropriate disposition of this case is, and agree to recommend jointly that the Court impose, a sentence requiring the defendant to pay to the United States a criminal fine of $3.5 million payable in full before the fifteenth (15th) day after the date of judgment ("the recommended sentence"). The parties agree that there exists no aggravating or mitigating circumstance of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in formulating the Sentencing Guidelines justifying a departure pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5K2.0. The parties agree not to seek or support any sentence outside of the Guidelines range nor any Guidelines adjustment for any reason that is not set forth in this Plea Agreement. The parties further agree that the recommended sentence set forth in this Plea Agreement is reasonable.

  1. The defendant understands that the Court will order it to pay a $400 special assessment, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013(a)(2)(B), in addition to any fine imposed.
  2. Both parties will recommend that no term of probation be imposed, but the defendant understands that the Court's denial of this request will not void this Plea Agreement.
  3. The United States and the defendant jointly submit that this Plea Agreement, together with the record that will be created by the United States and the defendant at the plea and sentencing hearings, will provide sufficient information concerning the defendant, the crime charged in this case, and the defendant's role in the crime to enable the meaningful exercise of sentencing authority by the Court under 18 U.S.C. § 3553. The United States and defendant agree to request jointly that the Court accept the defendant's guilty plea and impose sentence on an expedited schedule as early as the date of arraignment, based upon the record provided by the defendant and the United States, under the provisions of Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(c)(1)(A)(ii), U.S.S.G. §6A1.1, and Rule 88.8, S.D. Fla. L.R. The Court's denial of the request to impose sentence on an expedited schedule will not void this Plea Agreement.

9. The United States and the defendant understand that the Court retains complete discretion to accept or reject the recommended sentence provided for in Paragraph 8 of this Plea Agreement.

  1. If the Court does not accept the recommended sentence, the United States and the defendant agree that this Plea Agreement, except for Paragraph 9(b) below, shall be rendered void.
  2. If the Court does not accept the recommended sentence, the defendant will be free to withdraw its guilty plea (Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(5) and (d)). If the defendant withdraws its plea of guilty, this Plea Agreement, the guilty plea, and any statement made in the course of any proceedings under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 regarding the guilty plea or this Plea Agreement or made in the course of plea discussions with an attorney for the United States, shall not be admissible against the defendant in any criminal or civil proceeding, except as otherwise provided in Fed. R. Evid. 410. In addition, the defendant agrees that, if it withdraws its guilty plea pursuant to this subparagraph of the Plea Agreement, the statute of limitations period for any offense referred to in Paragraph 13 of this Plea Agreement shall be tolled for the period between the date of the signing of the Plea Agreement and the date the defendant withdrew its guilty plea or for a period of sixty (60) days after the date of the signing of the Plea Agreement, whichever period is greater.

10. In light of the availability of civil causes of actions, which potentially provide for a recovery of a multiple of actual damages, the United States agrees that it will not seek a restitution order for the offense charged in the Information.

DEFENDANT'S COOPERATION

11. The defendant, its ultimate parent corporation Trelleborg AB and subsidiaries involved in the production or sale of marine hose (collectively "related entities"), will cooperate fully and truthfully with the United States in the prosecution of this case, the conduct of the current federal investigation of violations of federal antitrust and related criminal laws involving the manufacture or sale of marine hose, any other federal investigation resulting therefrom, and any litigation or other proceedings arising or resulting from any such investigation to which the United States is a party ("Federal Proceeding"). The ongoing, full, and truthful cooperation of the defendant and its related entities shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. producing to the United States all non-privileged documents, information, and other materials wherever located, in the possession, custody, or control of the defendant, requested by the United States in connection with any Federal Proceeding;
  2. using its best efforts to secure the ongoing, full, and truthful cooperation, as defined in Paragraph 12 of this Plea Agreement, of the current or former directors, officers, and employees of the defendant or any of its related entities as may be requested by the United States, but excluding Christian Caleca and Jacques Cognard, including making these persons available in the United States and at other mutually agreed-upon locations, at the defendant's expense, for interviews and the provision of testimony in grand jury, trial, and other judicial proceedings in connection with any Federal Proceeding.

12. The ongoing, full, and truthful cooperation of each person described in Paragraph 11(b) above will be subject to the procedures and protections of this paragraph, and shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. producing in the United States and at other mutually agreed-upon locations all non-privileged documents, including claimed personal documents, and other materials, wherever located, requested by attorneys and agents of the United States;
  2. making himself or herself available for interviews in the United States and at other mutually agreed-upon locations, not at the expense of the United States, upon the request of attorneys and agents of the United States;
  3. responding fully and truthfully to all inquiries of the United States in connection with any Federal Proceeding, without falsely implicating any person or intentionally withholding any information, subject to the penalties of making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) and obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503, et seq.);
  4. otherwise voluntarily providing the United States with any non-privileged material or information not requested in (a) - (c) of this paragraph that he or she may have that is related to any Federal Proceeding;
  5. when called upon to do so by the United States in connection with any Federal Proceeding, testifying in grand jury, trial, and other judicial proceedings in the United States fully, truthfully, and under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1621), making false statements or declarations in grand jury or court proceedings (18 U.S.C. § 1623), contempt (18 U.S.C. §§ 401-402), and obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503, et seq.); and
  6. agreeing that, if the agreement not to prosecute him or her in this Plea Agreement is rendered void under Paragraph 14(c), the statute of limitations period for any Relevant Offense as defined in Paragraph 14(a) shall be tolled as to him or her for the period between the date of the signing of this Plea Agreement and six (6) months after the date that the United States gave notice of its intent to void its obligations to that person under the Plea Agreement.

UNITED STATES' AGREEMENT

13. Upon acceptance of the guilty plea called for by this Plea Agreement and the imposition of the recommended sentence, and subject to the cooperation requirements of Paragraph 11 of this Plea Agreement, the United States agrees that it will not bring further criminal charges against the defendant or any of its related entities for any act or offense committed before the date of this Plea Agreement that was undertaken in furtherance of an antitrust conspiracy involving the manufacture or sale of marine hose or undertaken in connection with any investigation of such a conspiracy. The nonprosecution terms of this paragraph do not apply to civil matters of any kind, to any violation of the federal tax or securities laws, or to any crime of violence.

14. The United States agrees to the following:

  1. Upon the Court's acceptance of the guilty plea called for by this Plea Agreement and the imposition of the recommended sentence and subject to the exceptions noted in Paragraph 14(c), the United States will not bring criminal charges against any current or former director, officer, or employee of the defendant or its related entities for any act or offense committed before the date of this Plea Agreement and while that person was acting as a director, officer, or employee of the defendant or its related entities that was undertaken in furtherance of an antitrust conspiracy involving the manufacture or sale of marine hose or undertaken in connection with any investigation of such a conspiracy ("Relevant Offense"), except that the protections granted in this paragraph shall not apply to Christian Caleca and Jacques Cognard;
  2. Should the United States determine that any current or former director, officer, or employee of the defendant or its related entities may have information relevant to any Federal Proceeding, the United States may request that person's cooperation under the terms of this Plea Agreement by written request delivered to counsel for the individual (with a copy to the undersigned counsel for the defendant) or, if the individual is not known by the United States to be represented, to the undersigned counsel for the defendant;
  3. If any person requested to provide cooperation under Paragraph 14(b) fails to comply with his or her obligations under Paragraph 12, then the terms of this Plea Agreement as they pertain to that person, and the agreement not to prosecute that person granted in this Plea Agreement, shall be rendered void;
  4. Except as provided in Paragraph 14(e), information provided by a person described in Paragraph 14(b) to the United States under the terms of this Plea Agreement pertaining to any Relevant Offense, or any information directly or indirectly derived from that information, may not be used against that person in a criminal case, except in a prosecution for perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1621), making a false statement or declaration (18 U.S.C. §§ 1001, 1623), or obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503, et seq.);
  5. If any person who provides information to the United States under this Plea Agreement fails to comply fully with his or her obligations under Paragraph 12 of this Plea Agreement, the agreement in Paragraph 14(d) not to use that information or any information directly or indirectly derived from it against that person in a criminal case shall be rendered void;
  6. The nonprosecution terms of this paragraph do not apply to civil matters of any kind, to any violation of the federal tax or securities laws, or to any crime of violence; and
  7. Documents provided under Paragraphs 11(a) and 12(a) shall be deemed responsive to outstanding grand jury subpoenas issued to the defendant.

15. The United States agrees that when any person travels to the United States for interviews, grand jury appearances, or court appearances pursuant to this Plea Agreement, or for meetings with counsel in preparation therefor, the United States will take no action, based upon any Relevant Offense, to subject such person to arrest, detention, or service of process, or to prevent such person from departing the United States. This paragraph does not apply to an individual's commission of perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1621), making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001), making false statements or declarations in grand jury or court proceedings (18 U.S.C. § 1623), obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503, et seq.), or contempt (18 U.S.C. §§ 401-402) in connection with any testimony or information provided or requested pursuant to the terms of this Plea Agreement in any Federal Proceeding.

16. The defendant understands that it may be subject to administrative action by federal or state agencies other than the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, based upon the conviction resulting from this Plea Agreement, and that this Plea Agreement in no way controls whatever action, if any, other agencies may take. However, the United States agrees that, if requested, it will advise the appropriate officials of any governmental agency considering such administrative action of the fact, manner, and extent of the cooperation of the defendant and its related entities as a matter for that agency to consider before determining what administrative action, if any, to take.

REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL

17. The defendant has been represented by counsel and is fully satisfied that its attorneys have provided competent legal representation. The defendant has thoroughly reviewed this Plea Agreement and acknowledges that counsel has advised it of the nature of the charge, any possible defenses to the charge, and the nature and range of possible sentences.

VOLUNTARY PLEA

18. The defendant's decision to enter into this Plea Agreement and to tender a plea of guilty is freely and voluntarily made and is not the result of force, threats, assurances, promises, or representations other than the representations contained in this Plea Agreement. The United States has made no promises or representations to the defendant as to whether the Court will accept or reject the recommendations contained within this Plea Agreement.

VIOLATION OF PLEA AGREEMENT

19. The defendant agrees that, should the United States determine in good faith, during the period that any Federal Proceeding is pending, that the defendant or any of its related entities has failed to provide full and truthful cooperation, as described in Paragraph 11 of this Plea Agreement, or has otherwise violated any provision of this Plea Agreement, the United States will notify counsel for the defendant in writing by personal or overnight delivery or facsimile transmission and may also notify counsel by telephone of its intention to void any of its obligations under this Plea Agreement (except its obligations under this paragraph), and the defendant and its related entities shall be subject to prosecution for any federal crime of which the United States has knowledge including, but not limited to, the substantive offenses relating to the investigation resulting in this Plea Agreement. The defendant and its related entities agree that, in the event that the United States is released from its obligations under this Plea Agreement and brings criminal charges against the defendant or its related entities for any offense referred to in Paragraph 13 of this Plea Agreement, the statute of limitations period for such offense shall be tolled for the period between the date of the signing of this Plea Agreement and six (6) months after the date the United States gave notice of its intent to void its obligations under this Plea Agreement.

20. The defendant understands and agrees that in any further prosecution of it or its related entities resulting from the release of the United States from its obligations under this Plea Agreement, because of the defendant's or its related entities' violation of the Plea Agreement, any documents, statements, information, testimony, or evidence provided by it, its related entities, or current or former directors, officers, or employees of it or its related entities to attorneys or agents of the United States, federal grand juries, or courts, and any leads derived therefrom, may be used against it or its related entities in any such further prosecution. In addition, the defendant unconditionally waives its right to challenge the use of such evidence in any such further prosecution, notwithstanding the protections of Fed. R. Evid. 410.

ENTIRETY OF AGREEMENT

21. This Plea Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and the defendant concerning the disposition of the criminal charge in this case. This Plea Agreement cannot be modified except in writing, signed by the United States and the defendant.

22. The undersigned is authorized to enter this Plea Agreement on behalf of the defendant as evidenced by the Resolution of the governing authority of the defendant attached to, and incorporated by reference in, this Plea Agreement.

23. The undersigned attorneys for the United States have been authorized by the Attorney General of the United States to enter this Plea Agreement on behalf of the United States.

24. A facsimile signature shall be deemed an original signature for the purpose of executing this Plea Agreement. Multiple signature pages are authorized for the purpose of executing this Plea Agreement.

DATED: April 22, 2009

    Respectfully submitted,


BY:_______________/s/________________
Ulf Gradén
President
Trelleborg Industrie S.A.S.



DATED: 20 April 2009


BY:_______________/s/________________
Roxann E. Henry
Howrey LLP
1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-383-6517
Counsel for Trelleborg Industrie S.A.S.
BY:_______________/s/________________
Craig Y. Lee
Special Bar Number A5501111
Portia R. Brown
Jon B. Jacobs
Attorneys, Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
National Criminal Enforcement Section
450 5th Street, NW, Suite 11300
Washington, DC 20530
202-514-5012
Counsel for the United States


TRELLEBORG
ENGINEERING SYSTEMS

TRELLEBORG INDUSTRIE SAS, (herein the Company) a French company with a share capital of EUR 9,909,450.00, having its headquarters at Rue de Chantemerle ZI la Combaude, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, herein represented by Mr. Ulf Gradén, in his capacity as permanent legal representative of the TRELLEBORG HOLDING France SAS, Chairman of TRELLEBORG INDUSTRIE SAS, duly authorized for the purpose hereof with authority to act in its name and on its behalf hereby authorizes and empowers

Ms Roxann Henry, of Howrey LLP

1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20004-2402

USA

as its lawful attorney to

  • act for and in the name of the Company in any contacts and discussions with authorities of the United States of America
  • represent the Company and for and on its behalf to enter into a Plea Agreement with the United States of America in the form of the attached or substantially similar thereto
  • enter into any ancillary statements or agreements
  • take any and all actions necessary to effectuate the Plea Agreement and plead and resolve the charges against the Company

Trelleborg, Sweden April 20, 2009

Trelleborg Industries SAS


By:_______________/s/________________

Name: Ulf Gradén
Title: Permanent Representative of Trelleborg Holding France SAS,
President of Trelleborg Industrie SAS

TRELLEBORG INDUSTRIE SAS
Société Anonyme Simplifiée au Capital de 9 909 450 Euros
Siège social : Rue de Chantemerle A.I. La Combaude - 63050 CLERMONT FERRAND Cedex 2 - France --
Tél : +33 (0)4 73 25 81 81 - Fax : +33 (0)4 73 25 89.05 - Site internet : www.trelleborg.com
SIREN : 391 933 937 R.C.S. Clemont Ferrand - SIRET 391 933 397 00013 - No TVA FR 56 391 933 397 -- APE : 251E