On April 20, 2016, DOJ announced that the former president of a Japanese company that sold automotive body sealing products had pled guilty to bid-rigging and price-fixing, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Reflecting DOJ’s renewed focus on individual accountability, the indictment named three individual defendants but did not name as defendants, or even identify by name, the companies for which they worked. To date, DOJ’s auto parts investigation has yielded charges against 58 individuals and 39 companies, and over $2.6 billion in criminal fines.
A week later, on April 27, DOJ announced that another Japanese company has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix the prices of electrolytic capacitors, a component used in many electronic devices. The announcement marks the second corporate guilty plea in DOJ’s investigation; the first, in January 2016, yielded a $13.8 million criminal fine.