CHICAGO An executive at Japan-based Denso Corp. will serve 14 months in prison and pay a $20,000 fine for his role in an alleged conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices of automotive parts.
Makoto Hattori has admitted one felony charge filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan as part of a plea agreement, according to the U.S. Justice Departments Antitrust Division. Hattori met with alleged co-conspirators to allocate supply and coordinate price quotes of heater control panels from mid-2005 through mid-2008, Justice said.
Hattori, who has pledged to cooperate in the Justice Departments ongoing investigation, is the ninth individual and the second Denso executive charged since the Justice Department began investigating criminal activity among auto parts producers last fall. The other eight executives have agreed to jail terms ranging from one to two years
Five companiesDenso, Fujikura Ltd., Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., G.S. Electech Inc. and Yazaki Corp.also have agreed to plead guilty and pay fines totaling more than $770 million (AMM, April 25).