Two of three San Francisco area defendants have pleaded guilty to
antitrust violations. Two consultants, who worked for Expert Networking Consultants, used their positions to direct California state software bids. A third person, who worked at a larger company, fed information to the consultants about upcoming contracts. In exchange for the information, the consultants gave the third conspirator expensive wines.
In most of the affected cases, the software contracts had a value of less than $250,000. Based on the contract value, some state departments needed to collect only two bids prior to making a purchase. Using the information, the consultants would create proposals, then encourage other consultants at the firm to submit fake, non-competitive bids. The fake bids made the consultants’ bids look more attractive.
According to investigators, the scheme, which operated between 2008 and 2012, netted 40 state contracts worth $3 million. The scheme also enabled the consultants to inflate their profits by 2% per contract. Affected state departments included the Employment Development Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Justice and also the Department of Insurance.
The two consultants pleaded guilty in federal court and are awaiting sentencing. They each face up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The third conspirator has not yet reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, so they are moving forward with the criminal case against her.
California antitrust lawyer
When you face price fixing, bid rigging or market allocation charges, hire an experienced antitrust lawyer to defend you. Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes federal and state cases, and will fight aggressively for you.
Your best defense strategy in federal court is to have an experienced federal attorney by your side. Federal prosecutors rarely try cases they’re not certain to win, and the pressure to plea bargain is enormous. That doesn’t mean you can’t prevail in court, but you need an attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County antitrust case.
Photo Credit: jshyun, via Flickr.com