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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FRIDAY, JULY 8, 1994
(202) 514-2007


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Connecticut Dairy owner pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $25,000 in criminal fines today for conspiring to rig bids on dairy products sold to Connecticut schools, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division said.

This is the fifth milk case brought in Connecticut as a result of a grand jury investigation into suspected bid rigging in the dairy products industry, said Assistant Attorney General Anne K. Bingaman in charge of the Antitrust Division.

According to charges filed in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut, Robert Spring, owner of Mohawk Farms Inc. of Newington, Connecticut, discussed with others anticipated bids for school diary contracts to select a company as the low bidder on each contract.

The Department said Spring, who was involved in the conspiracy from 1980 until June 1991, intentionally submitted high bids on contracts to help the other conspirators win school diary contracts.

The investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by the Division's New York field office with the assistance of the North Atlantic Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General and the Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal.

To date, 66 corporations and 73 individuals have been convicted and a total of approximately $54.4 million in fines have been imposed in cases involving the supply of dairy products to public school districts.

Twenty-six individuals have been sentenced to serve an average of approximately six months imprisonment in cases involving the supply of dairy products to public school districts. Civil damages total approximately $8 million. Twenty-one grand juries in 17 states continue to investigate the milk industry.

The maximum penalty for a individual convicted under the Sherman Act for a violation occurring before November 16, 1990, is three years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed the greatest of $350,000, twice the pecuniary gain the individual derived from the crime or twice the pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime.