Background

The Department of Justice reports that a former key accounts manager for a Korean auto parts company has been sentenced to nine months in prison and a $130,000 criminal fine for his role in an international market allocation and bid-rigging conspiracy involving the sale of instrument panel clusters to several auto producers. According to Justice, from February 2008 until as late as May 2012 the Korean national conspired to allocate sales of, rig bids for, and submit rigged and non-competitive bids for instrument panel clusters sold to Korean auto producers and their subsidiaries in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Instrument panel clusters are a set of instruments located on the dashboard of a vehicle that contain gauges such as the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, and fuel gauge, as well as warning indicators for gearshift position, seat belt, parking-brake engagement, engine malfunction, low fuel, low oil pressure, and low tire pressure.

More than 100 companies and executives have been charged in the Justice Department’s investigation into the auto parts industry. More than $2.9 billion in criminal fines have been imposed to date, and 32 individuals have been sentenced to pay criminal fines and serve prison sentences ranging from nine months to two years.

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