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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SOUTHERN DIVISION

__________________________________________

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                  v.

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
CONTRACTORS, INC.,

                Defendant.
__________________________________________

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Criminal No. CR-00-N-0298-S

Filed: August 11, 2000 Under Seal

Seal Lifted: September 7, 2000

Violation: 15 U.S.C. 1


INFORMATION

The United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:

I

DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE

1. American International Contractors, Inc. is made a defendant on the charge stated below.

2. Beginning at least as early as June 1988 and continuing until at least January 1995, the exact dates being unknown to the United States, the defendant and others entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging the bids on certain construction contracts funded by the United States Agency for International Development ("USAID") and performed in the Arab Republic of Egypt. 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 to rig the bids on certain USAID-funded construction contracts in Egypt.

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 to discuss rigging the bids on Contract 20A, a USAID-funded wastewater collection construction contract in Egypt;

  2. agreeing, during those meetings and conversations, to reduce or eliminate competition on Contract 20A;

  3. agreeing, during those meetings and conversations, that the defendant, or its parent company, would accept payments from a co-conspirator, in exchange for the commitment by the defendant to not bid on Contract 20A; and

  4. causing the defendant to issue a "no bid" letter on Contract 20A in accordance with the agreement reached.

II

BACKGROUND

5. As a result of the Camp David Peace Accords in the late 1970s, the United States and other Western countries committed to fund extensive rehabilitation work on the water treatment and disposal facilities in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Pursuant to this commitment, USAID, acting on behalf of the United States, funded nearly a billion dollars in work by U.S. construction companies in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

6. The USAID-funded contracts were awarded to prequalified United States contractors on the basis of competitive sealed bids.

III

DEFENDANT AND CO-CONSPIRATORS

7. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant, American International Contractors, Inc., was a construction corporation organized and existing under the laws of Maryland with its principal place of business in Virginia. During the relevant period, the defendant was owned by Archirodon Group, Inc., a Panamanian corporation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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

9. Wherever in this Information reference is made to any act, deed, or transaction of a corporation, the reference 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

10. During the period covered by this Information, substantial quantities of supplies, materials, and equipment were purchased by conspirators in anticipation of bidding on and performing the contracts that are the subject of the conspiracy. The supplies, materials, and equipment were shipped from the United States to the Arab Republic of Egypt in a continuous and uninterrupted flow of interstate and foreign trade and commerce.

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 Northern District of Alabama within five years preceding the filing of this Information, excluding the period during which the running of the statute of limitations period was suspended to permit the United States to obtain evidence in a foreign country pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3292.

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

__________"/s/"__________
JOEL I. KLEIN
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/"__________
G. DOUGLAS JONES
United States Attorney for the
Northern District of Alabama
__________"/s/"__________
JOHN T. ORR
Chief, Atlanta Office

__________"/s/"__________
WILLIAM D. DILLON
JANET LEVINE NAHIRNY
SARA E. BARTON
GLENN D. BAKER

Attorneys, Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Atlanta Office
Richard B. Russell Building
75 Spring St., S.W., Suite 1176
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel.: (404) 331-7100