UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION
The United States of America and Andrew Chen ("defendant") hereby enter into the following Plea Agreement pursuant to Rule 11(c)(1)(B) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure ("Fed. R. Crim. P."):
RIGHTS OF DEFENDANT
1. The defendant understands his rights:
(a) to be represented by an attorney;
(b) to be charged by Indictment;
(c) to plead not guilty to any criminal charge brought against him;
(d) to have a trial by jury, at which he 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 him to be found guilty;
(e) to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him and to subpoena witnesses in his defense at trial;
(f) not to be compelled to incriminate himself;
(g) to appeal his conviction, if he is found guilty; and
(h) to appeal the imposition of sentence against him.
2. The defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the rights set out in Paragraph 1(b)-(g) above. 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 or a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 or 2255, that challenges the sentence imposed by the Court if that sentence is consistent with or below the Sentencing Guidelines range stipulated by the parties 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). Nothing in this paragraph, however, shall act as a bar to the defendant perfecting any legal remedies he may otherwise have on appeal or collateral attack respecting claims of ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(b), the defendant will waive indictment at arraignment and plead guilty to a one-count Information to be filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The Information will charge the defendant with participating in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of aftermarket automotive lighting equipment (hereinafter "aftermarket auto lights") sold in the United States and elsewhere, from as early as September 2003 until in or about September 2005, 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 and will make a factual admission of guilt to the Court in accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 11, as set forth in Paragraph 4 below. The United States agrees that at the arraignment, it will stipulate to the release of the defendant on his personal recognizance, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142, pending the sentencing hearing in this case.
4. Had this case gone to trial, the United States would have presented evidence sufficient to prove the following facts:
(a) For purposes of this Plea Agreement, the "relevant period" is that period from in or about September 2003 to in or about September 2005. During the relevant period, the defendant was an officer or employee of Company A, an entity organized and existing under the laws of California. During the relevant period, the defendant was Executive Vice President of Company A. During the relevant period, Company A was a major United States distributor of aftermarket auto lights produced by Company B, an entity organized and existing under the laws of Taiwan. Aftermarket auto lights are incorporated into an automobile after its original sale, usually as repairs following a collision, but also as accessories and upgrades. Lighting components include items such as headlights, taillights, fog lights, turn signals, brake signals, and reflectors. Aftermarket auto lights are sold through U.S. distributors to aftermarket auto lights wholesalers, retailers, and automotive repair shops.
(b) During the relevant period, the defendant knowingly participated in a conspiracy with other persons and entities engaged in the manufacture and sale of aftermarket auto lights, the primary purpose of which was to fix the price of aftermarket auto lights sold in the United States and elsewhere. In furtherance of the conspiracy, the defendant engaged in conversations and attended meetings with representatives of other major firms engaged in the manufacture and sale of aftermarket auto lights. During such meetings and conversations, agreements were reached to fix the price of aftermarket auto lights sold in the United States and elsewhere.
(c) During the relevant period, aftermarket auto lights sold by one or more of the conspirator firms, and equipment and supplies necessary to the production and distribution of aftermarket auto lights, as well as payments for aftermarket auto lights, traveled in interstate and foreign commerce. The business activities of Company A and co-conspirators in connection with the production and sale of aftermarket auto lights that were the subjects of this conspiracy were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and foreign trade and commerce.
(d) Acts in furtherance of this conspiracy were carried out within the Northern District of California. Aftermarket auto lights that were the subjects of the conspiracy were sold by one or more of the conspirators to customers in this District.
5. The defendant understands that the statutory maximum penalty which may be imposed against him upon conviction for a violation of Section One of the Sherman Antitrust Act is:
(a) a term of imprisonment for ten (10)years (15 U.S.C. § 1);
(b) a fine in an amount equal to the greatest of (1) $1 million, (2) twice the gross pecuniary gain the conspirators derived from the crime, or (3) twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime by the conspirators (15 U.S.C. § 1; 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b) and (d)); and
(c) a term of supervised release of three (3) yearsfollowing any term of imprisonment. If the defendant violates any condition of supervised release, the defendant could be required to serveup to two (2) years in prison (18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(3); 18 U.S.C. § 3583(b)(2) and (e)(3); and United States Sentencing Guidelines ("U.S.S.G.," "Sentencing Guidelines," or "Guidelines") §5D1.2(a)(2)).
6. In addition, the defendant understands that:
(a) pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5E1.1 or 18 U.S.C. § 3663(a)(3) or 3583(d), the Court may order him to pay restitution to the victims of the offense; and
(b) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013(a)(2)(A), the Court is required to order the defendant to pay a $100.00 special assessment upon conviction for the charged crime.
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 imposingsentence. 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).
8. The United States and the defendant agree that the following Sentencing Guidelines apply:
a. Base Offense Level, U.S.S.G. §2R1.1(a): 12
b. Volume of Commerce (stipulated to be $13.8 million), More than $10 million, U.S.S.G. §2R1.1(b)(2)(B): +4
c. Fine calculated as one to five percent of the volume of commerce (stipulated to be $13.8 million) but not less than $20,000, U.S.S.G. §2R1.1(c)(1): $138,000 - $690,000
9. The United States agrees that it will make a motion, pursuant to U.S.S.G. §3E1.1, for a downward adjustment of three levels for acceptance of responsibility due to the defendant's timely notification of his intention to enter a guilty plea.
10. Subject to the full, truthful, and continuing cooperation of the defendant, the United States will recommend as the appropriate disposition of this case, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(B), that the Court sentence the defendant to a period of no more than twelve (12) months imprisonment (prior to any motion pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5K1.1); require the defendant to pay to the United States a fine of no more than $25,000payable in full before the fifteenth (15th) day after the date of judgment; and impose no period of supervised release.The defendant understands that the Court will order him to pay a $100 special assessment pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3013(a)(2)(A) in addition to any fine imposed. The United States will not object to the defendant's request that the Court make a recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons that the Bureau of Prisons designate that the defendant be assigned to a Federal Minimum Security Camp (and specifically to the Federal Minimum Security Camp at Lompoc, California) to serve his sentence and that the defendant be released following the imposition of sentence to allow him to self-surrender to the assigned prison facility on a specified date. 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.
11.The United States and the defendant agree that, pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5E1.1(b), the defendant should not be ordered to pay restitution for the offense charged in the Information in light of the civil cases filed against Company A, including In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 09-ML-2007 GW, consolidated in the United States District Court, Central District of California, which potentially provide for a recovery of a multiple of actual damages.
12. The United States and the defendant are not aware of any information which would impact the defendant's Criminal History Category. If no other information were discovered, the defendant's Criminal History Category would be I. The parties understand that the defendant's Criminal History Category is determined by the Court.
13. The defendant understands that the sentence to be imposed on him is within the sole discretion of the sentencing judge. The United States cannot and does not make any promises or representations as to what sentence he will receive. However, the United States will inform the Probation Office and the Court of (a) this Agreement; (b) the nature and extent of the defendant's activities with respect to this case and all other activities of the defendant which the United States deems relevant to sentencing; and (c) the nature and extent of the defendant's cooperation with the United States. In so doing, the United States may use any information it deems relevant, including information provided by the defendant both prior and subsequent to the signing of this Agreement. The United States reserves the right to make any statement to the Court or the Probation Office concerning the nature of the criminal violation charged in the attached Information, the participation of the defendant therein, and any other facts or circumstances that it deems relevant. The United States also reserves the right to comment on or to correct any representation made by or on behalf of the defendant, and to supply any other information that the Court may require.
14. If the United States determines that the defendant has provided substantial assistance in any investigations or prosecutions, and has otherwise fully complied with all of the terms of this Plea Agreement, it will file a motion, pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5K1.1, advising the sentencing judge of all relevant facts pertaining to that determination and requesting the Court to sentence the defendant in light of the factors set forth in U.S.S.G. §5K1.1(a)(1)-(5). The defendant acknowledges that the decision whether he has provided substantial assistance in any investigations or prosecutions and has otherwise complied with the terms of this Plea Agreement is within the sole discretion of the United States. It is understood that, should the United States determine that the defendant has not provided substantial assistance in any investigations or prosecutions, or should the United States determine that the defendant has violated any provision of this Plea Agreement, such a determination will release the United States from any obligation to file a motion pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5K1.1, but will not entitle the defendant to withdraw his guilty plea once it has been entered. The defendant further understands that, whether or not the United States files a motion pursuant to U.S.S.G. §5K1.1, the sentence to be imposed on him remains within the sole discretion of the sentencing judge.
15. Subject to the ongoing, full, and truthful cooperation of the defendant described in Paragraph 17 of this Plea Agreement, and before sentencing in the case, the United States will fully advise the Court and the Probation Office of the fact, manner, and extent of the defendant's cooperation and his commitment to prospective cooperation with the United States' investigation and prosecutions, all material facts relating to the defendant's involvement in the charged offense, and all other relevant conduct. To enable the Court to have the benefit of all relevant sentencing information, the United States may request, and the defendant will not oppose, that sentencing be postponed until his cooperation is complete.
16. The United States and the defendant understand that the Court retains complete discretion to accept or reject either party's sentencing recommendation. The defendant understands that, as provided in Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(3)(B), if the Court does not impose a sentence consistent with either party's sentencing recommendation, he nevertheless has no right to withdraw his plea of guilty.
17. The defendant 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 aftermarket auto lights in the United States and elsewhere, 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 shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) producing all non-privileged documents, including claimed personal documents, and other materials, wherever located, in the possession, custody, or control of the defendant, requested by attorneys and agents of the United States;
(b) making himself available for interviews, not at the expense of the United States, upon the request of attorneys and agents of the United States;
(c) 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.);
(d) otherwise voluntarily providing the United States with any non-privileged material or information, not requested in (a) - (c) of this paragraph, that he may have that is related to any Federal Proceeding; and
(e) 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, 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.).
18. Subject to the full, truthful, and continuing cooperation of the defendant described in Paragraph 17 of this Plea Agreement, and upon the Court's acceptance of the guilty plea called for by this Plea Agreement and the imposition of sentence, the United States will not bring further criminal charges against the defendant 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 aftermarket auto lights or undertaken in connection with any investigation of such a conspiracy ("Relevant Offense"). 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.
19. The defendant understands that he 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 as a matter for that agency to consider before determining what administrative action, if any, to take.
20. The defendant has reviewed all legal and factual aspects of this case with his attorney and is fully satisfied with his attorney's legal representation. The defendant has thoroughly reviewed this Plea Agreement with his attorney and has received satisfactory explanations from his attorney concerning each paragraph of this Plea Agreement and alternatives available to the defendant other than entering into this Plea Agreement. After conferring with his attorney and considering all available alternatives, the defendant has made a knowing and voluntary decision to enter into this Plea Agreement.
21. 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.
22. The defendant agrees that, should the United States determine in good faith, during the period that any Federal Proceeding is pending, that the defendant has failed to provide full and truthful cooperation, as described in Paragraph 17 of this Plea Agreement, or has otherwise violated any provision of this Plea Agreement, the United States will notify the defendant or his counsel in writing by personal or overnight delivery or facsimile transmission and may also notify his 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 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 may seek Court review of any determination made by the United States under this Paragraph to void any of its obligations under the Plea Agreement. The defendant agrees that, in the event that the United States is released from its obligations under this Plea Agreement and brings criminal charges against the defendant for any Relevant Offense, 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.
23. The defendant understands and agrees that in any further prosecution of him resulting from the release of the United States from its obligations under this Plea Agreement based on the defendant's violation of the Plea Agreement, any documents, statements, information, testimony, or evidence provided by him to attorneys or agents of the United States, federal grand juries, or courts, and any leads derived therefrom, may be used against him in any such further prosecution. In addition, the defendant unconditionally waives his right to challenge the use of such evidence in any such further prosecution, notwithstanding the protections of Fed. R. Evid. 410.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.