Five More Individuals Indicted for Their Roles in Capacitors Price-Fixing Conspiracy
Grand Jury Has Now Indicted Six Individuals in Worldwide Conspiracy
A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment today charging a total of six executives from four different companies for conspiring to fix prices of electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.
The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges the following individuals for conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of electrolytic capacitors:
- Tomohide Date, an executive of NEC TOKIN, who is charged with conspiring from in or about November 2001 until in or about December 2011;
- Satoru Miyashita, an executive of Company C, who is charged with conspiring from in or about January 2003 until in or about September 2012;
- Yasutoshi Ohno, an executive of Company A, who is charged with conspiring from in or about April 2000 until in or about September 2012;
- Masanobu Shiozaki, an executive of Company B, who is charged with conspiring from in or about November 2001 until in or about December 2011;
- Kiyoaki Shirotori, also an executive of Company C, who is charged with conspiring from in or about April 2006 until in or about December 2011; and
- Takuro Isawa, a former employee of Company A, who is charged with conspiring from in or about August 2002 until at least March 18, 2010. Isawa was previously indicted by a federal grand jury on March 12, 2015.
“The Antitrust Division will not hesitate to charge foreign nationals who participate in conspiracies that cheat American consumers,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “These executives participated in a long-running conspiracy to fix the prices of electrolytic capacitors, which are necessary components in scores of electronic products purchased by American consumers.”
Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engine and airbag systems, home appliances and office equipment.
The division has charged a total of five companies and six individuals for their participation in the same worldwide conspiracy. NEC TOKIN Corporation and Hitachi Chemical Co. previously pleaded guilty and paid criminal fines of $13.8 million and $3.8 million, respectively. On August 22, the division also filed informations charging Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co. Ltd. and Holy Stone Holdings Co. Ltd. with participating in the conspiracy. All five companies are cooperating with the division’s ongoing investigation.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The charges today result from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the capacitor industry. Anyone with information on price fixing, bid rigging or other anticompetitive conduct related to the capacitors industry should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 1-888-647-3258, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html, or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.