Liquid Aluminum Sulfate

A former executive of a water treatment chemicals manufacturer has pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to eliminate competition by fixing prices, rigging bids and allocating customers for liquid aluminum sulfate supplied to municipalities and and other water districts.

“By agreeing not to disturb each other’s ‘historical’ business, the co-conspirators cheated municipalities out of competitive prices for their supplies of liquid aluminum sulfate, a key water softening treatment chemical,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “We continue to work with our partners at the FBI to hold offenders in this industry criminally accountable.”

According to documents filed with the court, from 1997 until July 2010, co-conspirators met to discuss each other’s liquid aluminum sulfate business, submitted intentionally losing bids to favor the intended winner of the business, withdrew inadvertently winning bids and discussed prices to be quoted or bid to customers.

The scheme allowed these companies “to circumvent competitive bidding and independent pricing for liquid aluminum sulfate contracts.” The companies further “conspired to raise prices by submitting artificially inflated bids to their customers,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel of the FBI’s Newark Division. “They also allocated customers in furtherance of their collusive scheme. By agreeing to violate both the spirit and the letter of the competitive process, they defrauded municipalities out of millions of dollars.”

Contact us today if your county, municipality or other governmental water district uses liquid aluminum sulfate.