On June 28, 2008, Manuli Rubber Industries SpA (“Manuli”), an Italian marine hose manufacturer, and Robert L. Furness, the former president of Manuli’s subsidiary Plantation, pled guilty for their role in a worldwide conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, and allocate market share in the marine hose industry.
Manuli agreed to pay $2 million in criminal fines, while Mr. Furness will pay $75,000 and serve a two year prison sentence. Mr. Furness is the third executive at Manuli to be charged for his role in the conspiracy. Additionally, Giovanni Scodeggio, manager of Parker ITR S.r.l.’s Oil & Gas Business Unit, another Italian marine hose manufacture, pled guilty for his role in the same conspiracy. Mr. Scodeggio agreed to let the court decide his prison sentence, to pay a criminal fine of $20,000, and to cooperate with the Department of Justice in their ongoing investigation.
Marine hose is a flexible rubber hose used to transfer oil between tankers and storage facilities. The cartel manipulated prices for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of marine hose worldwide. Manuli and Mr. Furness are alleged to have participated in the conspiracy from 2000 to May 2007, while Mr. Scodeggio was involved from January 2007 to May 2007.