An Oakland jury acquitted an Oakland man of antitrust violations. The same jury deadlocked on a unanimous verdict against the man’s brother. Federal authorities accused the two of bid rigging in construction in Berkeley. The brothers own a well-known construction company there.
According to prosecutors, the brothers conspired to rig bids on a federal contract to update the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A grand jury indicted the men in April 2017, as part of a larger FBI probe into contracting fraud. The broader investigation has already netted some high profile convictions involving public officials.
Prosecutors contended that the brothers conspired to rig bids in order to direct contract work to a third party. The third party turned out to be a paid FBI informant. The FBI informant worked with the son of an Oakland City Councilman. He told the parties that he already had an arrangement with the person in charge of awarding the contract. To meet federal bidding regulations, he needed another firm to submit a falsely inflated bid. The councilman’s son agreed to participate, and allegedly acted as a go-between among the parties. The informant promised the brothers that in exchange for their cooperation, he would ensure that they received future business.
An earlier jury convicted the councilman’s son in a case involving federal construction at a Southern California veterans’ facility. In the Oakland case, the brothers maintained that the proposal they submitted was not phony or inflated. In addition, they claimed that the government targeted the men because they are black. The FBI informant, who is also black, has assisted the FBI in Maryland, Louisiana and Connecticut cases targeting black businessmen.
California Antitrust Attorney
This case demonstrates that it is possible to prevail against federal prosecutors, despite their high conviction rate. When you face criminal bid rigging, price fixing or market allocation charges, hire an experienced antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes federal cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that the best option is a guilty plea. Instead, 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: bloomsberries, via Flickr.com