Washington Criminal I Section
Formerly known as the National Criminal Enforcement Section (NCES), the Washington Criminal I Section has brought charges and secured criminal convictions and fines in some of the largest international and domestic cartel prosecutions ever conducted by the Antitrust Division. These investigations spanned a wide range of industries, including automobile manufacturing, oil tanker transportation, air and ocean shipping, pharmaceuticals, and military contracting.
Ryan Tansey, Section Chief
Ryan D. Tansey
Sara M. Clingan
Carolyn S. Olson
Past investigations include:
Marine Hose: The Marine Hose cartel was an organized criminal enterprise made up of six international marine hose manufacturers who fixed prices and rigged contract bids for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of rubber hoses that connect massive oil tankers to storage facilities in ports around the world. The Antitrust and FBI investigation started in 2006 and utilized undercover informants and wiretaps of cartel meetings to uncover the decades-long criminal scheme, which has led to the prosecution of five companies and 12 executives, who collectively paid more than $44 million in criminal fines.
Auto Parts: The Auto Parts cartel, referred to by some as a “super cartel,” was a sweeping probe into illegal collusion and price-fixing among global automobile manufacturers of numerous components used in the manufacture of cars and trucks sold around the world. The investigation involved a series of dawn raids and cascading cooperators that has led to the massive prosecution of more than 100 companies and executives. The investigation has resulted in over $2.9 billion in criminal fines and 32 individuals sentenced to pay criminal fines and to serve prison sentences.
Air Cargo: The Air Cargo cartel was an international price-fixing conspiracy among the world’s largest airlines that affected billions of dollars of air cargo shipments around the globe. The investigation was carried out in conjunction with the European Commission and included raids on multiple airline offices. It resulted in criminal charges against 22 global airlines and 21 executives, more than $1.8 billion in criminal fines, and federal prison sentences for eight executives. The case also involved the first international extradition for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Freight Forwarders: The Freight Forwarders cartel was a criminal conspiracy among 14 global companies to fix the prices of various fees charged by freight forwarders for international shipments of cargo by air and ocean. The investigation involved multilateral mutual assistance and collaboration with antitrust regulators around the world and has led to the prosecution and guilty pleas of 14 companies, who collectively paid more than $100 million in criminal fines.
Ocean Shipping: The Ocean Shipping cartel was a criminal conspiracy among the largest ocean shipping companies in the world to fix the prices of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to and from the United States and elsewhere. The investigation involved the collaboration of antitrust regulators from five nations and a raid on a biannual cartel meeting, leading to the prosecution of 13 executives and five companies, who collectively agreed to pay more than $255 million in criminal fines. Several executives have pled guilty and been sentenced to serve prison terms of 14 to 18 months. It also resulted in a historic agreement between the Department of Justice and Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to ensure that large ocean freight companies cannot take advantage of U.S. businesses and consumers.
Generic Pharmaceuticals: The Generic Pharmaceuticals investigation was a sprawling criminal probe into illegal collusion and price-fixing among the world’s largest drug manufacturers to fix prices on various generic drugs used to treat a range of diseases and chronic conditions. The investigation resulted in charges against seven companies, who collectively agreed to pay more than $681 million in criminal fines. The case also resulted in a $225 million fine against Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest to date for a domestic antitrust cartel, and the first ever criminal divestitures of key business lines involved in the misconduct.
Korea Fuel Supply: The Korea Fuel Supply cartel was a decade-long criminal scheme among the five largest oil refineries in Korea to rig bids and fix prices on hundreds of millions of dollars in critical fuel supplied to U.S. military bases in the region. The investigation involved foreign confidential informants and key investigative steps by an elite U.S. law enforcement task force in Korea. The case has resulted in criminal antitrust and fraud charges against five companies and seven oil refinery executives, who collectively paid over $363 million in criminal fines and civil damages to the United States. The case also gave rise to the Antitrust Division’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), which leads a coordinated national response to combat antitrust crimes and related schemes in government procurement.
Liberty Square Building
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001