Francis Alvarez, owner of a freight forwarding company, has pleaded guilty to an antitrust charge for her role in a multi-year, nationwide conspiracy to fix prices for international freight forwarding services.
The original charges were filed in the Southern District of Florida in Miami. According to the charges Alvarez and her co-conspirators agreed to fix prices, primarily for shipments to Honduras between September 2010 and August 2014. They held meetings where they discussed prices to be charged for freight services, exchanged pricing information and raised prices in accordance with the agreement.
Alvarez has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the ongoing investigation. She will be sentenced at a later date. Alvarez owns Servicios Hondurenos which is based just north-east of downtown Houston.
Roberto Dip (who owned Dip Shipping, a freight forwarding company in New Orleans) and Jason Handal (a company manager for Dip) pleaded guilty in November 2018. In June, they were sentenced to 18 months and 15 months prison terms, respectively. The individuals each paid a $20,000 fine while the company paid a $488,250 criminal fine.
The ongoing investigation into price fixing in the international freight forwarding industry is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section and the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office.