Former executive pleads guilty in national water treatment chemicals conspiracy

A former executive of a water treatment chemicals manufacturer has pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to eliminate competition by fixing prices, rigging bids and allocating customers for liquid aluminum sulfate supplied to U.S. municipalities and pulp and paper companies.

Nov. 3, 2015 -- A former executive of a water treatment chemicals manufacturer has pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to eliminate competition by fixing prices, rigging bids and allocating customers for liquid aluminum sulfate supplied to municipalities and pulp and paper companies in the United States.

Frank A. Reichl of Flanders, N.J., admitted to agreeing not to compete for contracts for liquid aluminum sulfate, a coagulant used by municipalities to treat drinking water and wastewater, and by pulp and paper companies in their manufacturing processes.

According to documents filed with the court, from 1997 until July 2010, Reichl and his co-conspirators met to discuss each other's liquid aluminum sulfate business; submitted intentionally losing bids to favor the intended winner of the business; withdrew inadvertently winning bids; and discussed prices to be quoted or bid to customers. Reichl is the first defendant to plead guilty to participating in this decade-and-a-half-long conspiracy.

A violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1-million fine for individuals. The maximum fine for a Sherman Act charge may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine. The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's New York Office and FBI's New Jersey Office.

See also:

"Pulp & Paper: A Look at Wastewater Treatment Trends and Technologies"

"Water treatment chemical market driven largely by water reuse, study shows"

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