November 14, 2018
The United States and three South Korea-based companies, SK Energy Co. Ltd.
, GS Caltex Corporation
, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd.
, have reached an agreement to resolve criminal and civil claims arising from the defendants' alleged bid-rigging and price-fixing in contracts to supply fuel to U.S. military bases in South Korea. As a result of this conduct, the Department of Defense paid substantially inflated prices for fuel supply services in South Korea. Defendants agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a total of $236 million
-- $82 million in criminal fines and $154 million for civil antitrust and False Claims Act violations related to the bid-rigging conspiracy. The False Claims Act civil investigation resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam
provisions of the False Claims Act. The settlement is part of an ongoing federal investigation into bid rigging, price fixing and other anticompetitive conduct targeting U.S. Department of Defense fuel supply contracts in South Korea; the defendants have have agreed to cooperate with that investigation. DOJ