| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON, D.C. A federal grand jury in Milwaukee today indicted two Wisconsin road construction companies and four executives for conspiring to rig bids submitted for highway construction projects let by the state of Wisconsin and various other bidding authorities within the state, the Department of Justice announced.
Charged in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee with rigging bids on road construction contracts from approximately 1997 until January 13, 2004 are:
On January 13, 2004, Ernest and John Streu as well as James and Michael Maples were arrested on bid-rigging and wire fraud charges.
The indictment charges that the conspirators allocated highway construction projects among themselves, then designated which of them would submit the low bid for a project and which would submit higher, complementary bids or not bid at all. The projects, which include public road, highway, bridge, street, and airport construction projects, were worth more than $100 million to the state of Wisconsin.
"Today's indictment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to prosecute anticompetitive conduct that harms American taxpayers," said R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted jointly by the Department's Antitrust Division's Chicago Field Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General.
The companies and individuals are charged with bid rigging in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1, which carries a maximum penalty for individuals of three years in prison and a fine of $350,000, and a maximum fine of $10,000,000 for companies. The maximum fines may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
Anyone with information concerning price fixing or other anticompetitive conduct in the road construction industry should contact the Chicago Field Office of the Antitrust Division at 312-353-7530.