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Appeals court upholds sentencing of Sea Star executive

The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a five-year sentence for Frank Peake, the former president of Sea Star Line, which recently rebranded as TOTE Maritime.

   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.
   Peake said there were errors made in respect to his trial and sentencing for price fixing offenses in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act including “the validity of his indictment; the scope of the search warrant executed by the government; the district court’s denial of his pre-trial motion to change venue; improper remarks made by the prosecutor during trial; the district court’s ruling permitting prejudicial testimony; the district court’s denial of his request for a theory-of-defense instruction; the district court’s denial of his request for a mistrial during jury deliberations; and the length of his sentence, which was based on the amount of commerce affected by the charged conspiracy, and which Peake contends the court incorrectly computed.”
   But in a 40-page decision, the 1st Circuit said it found no errors and affirmed its decision, concluding “the district court marshaled this trial in a commendable manner.”

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Crowley (No. 204).

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.