Thomas Farmer, a former executive at Crowley Liner Services, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Juan on a charge of conspiring with competitors to fix shipping rates in the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico trade.
Farmer, who was vice president of price and yield management at Crowley, is the seventh former carrier official charged in the Justice Department’s investigation of antitrust violations in the Puerto Rico trade.
Frank Peake, former president of Sea Star Line, was convicted of antitrust conspiracy in January after a jury trial in U.S. District Court in San Juan. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 31.
Five former officials of Horizon Lines and Sea Star Lines were sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven months to four years after pleading guilty to antitrust violations or hiding evidence.
Horizon, Sea Star and Crowley also have pleaded guilty to antitrust violations and have paid a total of more than $46 million in criminal fines in the case, in addition to more than $57 million in civil settlements with direct and indirect customers.
The Justice Department said carriers colluded on prices between 2002 and April 2008, when the FBI raided the shipping lines’ offices. The indictment against Farmer accuses him of participating in the price-fixing scheme from at least mid-2005 until April 2008.