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The Department of Justice announced Sept. 21 that two Japanese automotive parts executives have been charged with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation into anticompetitive practices in the auto parts industry. During the conspiracy, one exec was employed by an auto parts company in Japan while the other also worked there as well as in that company’s Michigan-based U.S. joint venture.
According to the indictment, the defendants, along with their coconspirators, conspired from at least as early as June 2008 until at least September 2012 to delete emails and electronic records and to destroy documents referring to communications with competitors. In addition, according to the indictment, one of the execs instructed another individual on or about Sept. 25, 2012, to ensure that no phone numbers or call records remained on his cell phone and that no data remained on his computer that would reflect competitor communications.
A total of 65 individuals and 47 companies have been charged in the DOJ’s investigations into the auto parts industry.