by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, October 21, 2015
The American Shipper Magazine reported on October 19, 2015, that the U.S. 1st Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and sentencing of Frank Peake, the former president of Sea Star Line LLC now known as TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, for price fixing.
The U.S. Department of Justice brought criminal cases against three common carriers providing regularly scheduled ocean container shipping services in the domestic Puerto Rico trade and seven individual company executives. Six executives from two companies were convicted and given sentences of between 7 months and five years. All three companies were convicted and fined a collective $46.2 million. The conspiracies were alleged to have occurred between 2005 and 2008.
The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a five-year prison sentence given to Frank Peake, the former president of Sea Star Line, for participating in a price-fixing conspiracy.
Peake was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to fix the price of Puerto Rico freight services and was sentenced in 2013 to five years in prison.
Sea Star, now known as TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to antitrust violations in 2011, and was ordered to pay a $14.2 million criminal fine. Sea Star competitors Horizon Lines and Crowley were also fined after pleading guilty to price fixing.