Former employees of G4S Secure Solutions NV (G4S NV), pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust charges. The charges were related to their involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, and allocate customers for defense services contracts.
According to court documents, Bart Verbeeck, former Director of Sales, and Robby Van Mele, former Director of Operations, admitted that they, with their co-conspirators at competing firms, colluded to allocate security services contracts and to fix the prices at which the firms bid for contracts. The allocated contracts included those for guarding, mobile monitoring, and surveillance services with the United States, through the Department of Defense, and those with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Communications and Information Agency. As a result, the customers of the security services providers were deprived of a competitive bidding process and paid inflated, non-competitive prices for services.
Earlier this year, G4S NV pleaded guilty and was sentenced for its involvement in the conspiracy. The Department of Justice has also indicted several other members of the conspiracy. The department’s investigation remains ongoing.
“These individual guilty pleas, which follow the sentencing of G4S NV, demonstrate the division’s commitment to the vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The division and its Procurement Collusion Strike Force partners will continue to investigate and prosecute both individual and corporate wrongdoers who seek to exploit the government procurement process.”
“Safeguarding the integrity of the defense procurement process is a vital aspect of our work at the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS),” said DCIS Deputy Director Paul K. Sternal. “Today’s pleas demonstrate our ability to work collaboratively to investigate and prosecute illegal conduct.”
“This result is an important step in enforcing the integrity of the government procurement process,” said Frank Robey, Director of the US Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. “We will continue to safeguard the interests of both the U.S. Army and the taxpayer.”
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