A sixth executive from Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., the world's largest manufacturer of memory chips, has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a global conspiracy to fix dynamic random access memory (DRAM) prices, the Department of Justice announced. Il Ung Kim, a Korean executive, has agreed to serve 14 months in a United States prison, the longest imprisonment ever by a foreign defendant charged with price fixing in the United States.
Kim, vice president of marketing for the memory division at Samsung, agreed to plead guilty to a single count of price fixing. As part of his plea agreement, Kim agreed to pay a $250,000 criminal fine and to assist prosecutors in the ongoing investigation. The entry of the plea agreement and sentencing is currently scheduled for April 25, 2007. The plea and recommended sentence must be approved by the court.
To date, the court has imposed criminal fines totaling more than $730 million against the DRAM cartel members, which is the second-largest total amount of fines ever imposed in a U.S. criminal antitrust investigation. A total of 18 individuals and four companies have been charged as a result of the Department's ongoing antitrust investigation into the DRAM industry.