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U.S. v. Misao Hioki

 
:
Bridgestone Corporation - Hioki, Misao
:
DOJ Criminal
:
December 8, 2008
:
U.S. v. Misao Hioki
:
U.S. v. Hioki, No. 08-795 (S.D. Tex. 2008)
:
The FCPA conduct appears to have been discovered as part of a much larger antitrust cartel investigation related to the sale of marine hose. To date, Hioki's employer has not been charged.
:
Manufacturing/Engineering
:
Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela
:
2004; 2005; 2006; 2007
:
Employees of state-owned companies in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela
:
From approximately January 2004 until May 2007, Hioki served as the General Manager of a company's International Engineered Products ("IEP").

While identified in the plea agreement only as "Company 1", press reports indicate that Hioki's employer was Bridgestone Corporation ("Bridgestone"), a Japanese manufacturer of tires and diversified products.

IEP coordinated efforts between Bridgestone's headquarters in Japan and its regional subsidiaries to sell IEP products throughout the world. To secure sales in Latin America, local sales agents, who developed relationships with employees in state-owned companies, forwarded information related to potential projects to their regional subsidiaries, including the U.S. subsidiary. The regional subsidiaries then forwarded the information provided by the local agents to the IEP employee in Japan responsible for the particular product. The local agents often agreed to pay officials within the state-owned customer a percentage of the total value of the proposed deal. If the regional subsidiary secured the project, it paid the local sales agent a commission, which included both the agent's actual commission and the corrupt payments to be paid to the employees of the state-owned customer. The local sales agent then made the agreed-upon payments to the customer's employees. The regional subsidiaries and the supervisors in Japan authorized, and took steps to conceal, these payments. Hioki personally authorized certain corrupt payments and also approved transactions which he knew included corrupt payments.

On December 10, 2008, Hioki pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA and conspiring to rig bids, fix prices, and allocate market shares of marine hose in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Hioki is the first individual to plead guilty in the FCPA conspiracy and the ninth individual to plead guilty in the marine antitrust conspiracy.
:
Anti-bribery (Other Persons)
:
Fine, Imprisonment, Plea
:
Hioki was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $80,000.
:
80,000
:
24
:
Total Offense Level: 30 (Base Offense of 12; +2 for More than One Bribe; +16 for Corrupt Payments over $1 million)
Adjusted Offense Level: 27 (-3 for Acceptance of Responsibility). The government recommended 24 months in prison instead of 70 and agreed to file a substantial assistance motion to justify the departure from the guidelines.
:
General Manager
:
Foreign
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
Not stated.
:
Cash
:
Sales Agent/Consultant
:
1,000,000
:
Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela
:
United States
:
No