Former Sea Star Line President Frank Peake was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $25,000 for his conviction in an antitrust conspiracy case that has produced guilty pleas by five other carrier executives and three carriers in the Puerto Rico trade.
Peake was sentenced on Dec. 9 by U.S. District Judge Daniel R. Dominguez in San Juan, where Peake was convicted last January after a two-week trial.
“The sentence imposed today reflects the serious harm these conspirators inflicted on American consumers, both in the continental United States and in Puerto Rico,” said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s anditrust division.
Peake was convicted of participation in a multiyear conspiracy by carriers to fix rates, allocate customers between and among the carriers, and to rig bids submitted to customers. Peake was charged with involvement in the conspiracy from at least late 2005 until April 2008.
Five former Sea Star and Horizon Lines pleaded guilty to antitrust conspiracy or concealing evidence shortly after federal agents raided carrier headquarters in April 2008. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven months to four years.
Sea Star, Horizon and Crowley Liner Services also pleaded guilty to antitrust volations and were ordered to pay a total of more than $46 million in criminal fines. The carriers also have paid a total of more than $57 million in class-action settlements with direct or indirect customers, in addition to private settlements with other plaintiffs.
The Justice Department said the case is ongoing. Thomas Farmer, the former vice president of price and yield management of Crowley Liner Services, was indicted in March 2013 for his alleged role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to go to trial next May.