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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1996
(202) 616-2771
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New York City military insignia company, with its main place of business in Providence, Rhode Island, was charged today with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids on sales of military insignia to the Army Air Force Exchange Service for resale to United States military personnel.

In a one-count felony charge filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division charged Ira Green Inc. with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids between January 1990 and December 1993 for military insignia sold to the Army Air Force Exchange Service for resale to U.S. military personnel at military facilities throughout the United States and abroad.

Military insignia are accessories attached to a soldier's uniform to designate branch of service, unit, rank, and also to identify the wearer's years of service, campaigns served, training completed and meritorious and heroic conduct performed.

According to the charge, Ira Green Inc. conspired with others to suppress and eliminate competition for military insignia contracts. Ira Green Inc. carried out the conspiracy by discussing with its co- conspirators the prospective bids for bulk insignia contracts, designating which company would be the low bidder, and submitting intentionally high bids. Ira Green Inc. also conspired with other military insignia companies by discussing and agreeing on the level of price increases on the Army Air Force Exchange Service open order contract which covered some 4,000 different military insignia.

Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said the charge resulted from a federal grand jury investigation of bid rigging and related violations on military insignia sales to the Department of Defense and related agencies.

The case was filed by the Antitrust Division's Philadelphia Field Office with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the investigative arm of the Department of Defense Inspector General, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

The maximum penalty for a corporation convicted of a violation of the Sherman Act committed after November 16, 1990, is a fine of not more than the greatest of $10 million, twice the gross pecuniary gain the defendant derived from the crime, or twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime.