Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US

Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Credit: Belga

Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd.

The case is part of an investigation into prohibited agreements between the private security companies G4S Secure Solutions, Securitas and Seris Security, made with their top executives in bidding for contracts.

An investigation by both the Belgian Competition Authority and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is ongoing, and the U.S. court has already indicted and subpoenaed several parties in the case.

The most well-known name is former G4S top manager Jean-Paul Van Avermaet, who when the case erupted was no longer working at G4S but was CEO of Bpost. He resigned from that position in the spring under pressure from the investigation.

On Monday the US held a pretrial for Bart Verbeeck, the former director of sales of the Belgian company G4S Secure Solutions, and for Robby Van Mele, the former director of operations of the company.

Their names had been previously undisclosed in the case file, but the two were close associates of Van Avermaet.

They’ve plead guilty to “criminal antitrust charges arising out of their involvement in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices and divide customers for defense-related service contracts,” according to a press release from the US court.

The US is itself a party in the case, because the alleged bid rigging involved contracts for US government buildings.

Van Avermaet himself has not yet made a plea for guilty or not guilty.

The maximum sentence for the offenses in the US is ten years in prison plus a fine.

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