On Wednesday, a former president of a paving and asphalt contractor was sentenced by a US judge in Montana. The sentence was for three years’ probation, and it was noted by lawyers that this was a rare criminal monopoly prosecution by the US Justice Department, Reuters reported.
Nathan Zito, the defendant, admitted guilt last year to a violation of US antitrust law that prohibits attempts to monopolize a market. The accusation against Zito was centered on his efforts to persuade a competitor to split Montana and Wyoming for the purpose of publicly-funded crack-sealing projects on highways.
Read more: The Newest Wave of Antitrust “Crimes”: Revival of Criminal Monopolization
The prosecutors requested that Zito, who is 44 years old and from Billings, be sentenced by US District Judge Susan Watters to serve a term ranging from six months to one year in prison.
Peter Lacny, the defense lawyer for Zito, did not provide a response to a message requesting comment. Lacny had requested that the judge implement a probationary sentence.
“Nathan has been severely punished by this conviction alone — he has lost his business, his career, and had his good reputation permanently tarnished,” Lacny told the court. “Prison is not necessary to protect the public, or to deter Nathan or others.”