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June 8, 2016 3:50 PM, EDT

Former Shipping Executive From Chile Charged With Price-Fixing at Port of Baltimore

Mark Elias/Bloomberg News

Federal prosecutors in Maryland indicted a former shipping executive from Chile on June 7 in an alleged bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracy involving cargo shipped through the Port of Baltimore and other U.S. ports, the Department of Justice said.

Mauricio Javier Garrido Garcia, a former executive at Compania Sudamericana de Vapores S.A., was charged with allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing shipping prices for roll-on, roll-off cargo including cars, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural equipment, prosecutors said.

Neither Garcia nor his company, known as CSAV, could reached for comment.

So far, eight shipping executives have been charged in the investigation, including three in October 2015. Four individuals have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison while three others are considered fugitives.

CSAV and two Japanese shipping lines also have pleaded guilty and paid more than $136 million in fines.

"These charges brought today, and for the prior seven executives charged, outline a deceptive scheme to destabilize competition in the marketplace," Kevin Perkins, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore Division, said in a statement. "Those who engage in this type of criminal activity with the intent on corrupting our economy will be identified and brought to justice."

In the indictment, a federal grand jury said Garcia participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as June 2000 until at least September 2012.

"The charged combination and conspiracy had a direct, substantial and reasonably foreseeable effect on U.S. import trade or commerce in roll-on, roll-off cargo shipped from foreign nations to the United States, and that effect, in part, gives rise to this charge," the indictment said.