A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted two former Air France Cargo executives on charges of conspiring to fix international air freight rates.
Marc Boudier, former executive vice-president of Air France's cargo unit, and Jean Charles Foucault, former vice-president for sales and marketing, face a maximum ten years in prison and a million-dollar fine if convicted.
The indictments on Tuesday, April 26, are the latest in a long-running investigation into an alleged global price fixing cartel that has led to charges against 21 carriers and 21 cargo executives, including Boudier and Foucault.
"Boudier and Foucault carried out a conspiracy by fixing and coordinating rates on air cargo shipments to certain U.S. locations and elsewhere and surcharges on air cargo shipments to and from the U.S. and elsewhere," the Justice Department alleged.
"According to the indictment, Boudier and Foucault participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as August 2004 until at least February 2006."
In 2008, Air France-KLM agreed to pay a $350 million fine, the second largest antitrust penalty in the U.S. to date, after admitting to attempting to fix cargo rates.
The U.S. has imposed more than $1.8 billion in criminal fines on airlines and sentenced four executives to jail so far in its price fixing probe.
In November, the European Union fined 11 airlines $1.1 billion for their role in the price fixing cartel.
Air France-KLM was hit with the largest fine, of $505 million, which it is currently appealing.
The Franco-Dutch carrier also is being sued in the Netherlands by hundreds of European shippers, led by Philips and Ericsson, who are seeking more than $725 million for damages they allegedly suffered as a result of the price fixing cartel.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.