Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

Marine Products Company Chief Charged with Bid Rigging

On June 14, the DOJ charged Gerald Thermos, the president of a marine products company in California with conspiring to rig bids and allocate customers with respect to the sale of foam-filled marine fenders and buoys purchased by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other public and private entities. Foam-filled marine fenders are used as a cushion between ships and fixed structures, such as docks, piers, or other ships. Foam-filled buoys are used in a variety of applications, including use as channel markers and navigational aids. Mr. Thermos agreed to plead guilty to the charge and serve an eight-month sentence, including four months in jail and four months in home detention, and to pay a criminal fine of $50,000.
Allegedly, he participated in a conspiracy between June 2000 and August 2005 to allocate customers and rig bids for contracts of marine foam-filled fenders and buoys. The conspirators discussed and agreed among themselves which of them would win contracts from the Department of Defense (“DOD”), the Department of Homeland Security and others. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's National Criminal Enforcement Section with the assistance of the DOD's Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the United States Navy Criminal Investigative Service.