• ITVI.USA
    9,157.620
    -27.560
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    2.590
    -0.020
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,162.320
    -26.570
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.230
    -0.070
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.100
    -0.030
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    1.700
    0.130
    8.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    1.520
    0.060
    4.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.120
    -0.030
    -2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    139.000
    -12.000
    -7.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,157.620
    -27.560
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    2.590
    -0.020
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,162.320
    -26.570
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.230
    -0.070
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.100
    -0.030
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    1.700
    0.130
    8.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    1.520
    0.060
    4.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.120
    -0.030
    -2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    139.000
    -12.000
    -7.9%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

E-commerce exec pleads guilty to price-fixing

Azim Makanojiva, president of e-commerce firm Zaappaaz, pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal violation of the Sherman Act for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online to customers.

   The Justice Department said Azim Makanojiva, president of e-commerce firm Zaappaaz, pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal violation of the Sherman Act for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online to customers. 
   According to the charging documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, Makanojiva and his companies, which include WB Promotions, Wrist-Band.com, and Customlanyard.net, attended meetings and communicated with conspirators in person and online from early 2014 to June 2016. They used social media and encrypted messaging applications, such as Facebook, Skype and Whatsapp, to reach and implement their illegal agreements. 
   “Criminals cannot evade detection by conspiring online and using encrypted messaging,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Andrew Finch of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. “American consumers have the right to a marketplace free of unlawful collusion, whether they are shopping at retail stores or online.”
   Makanojiva faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million. “The maximum fine for an individual may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine,” the Justice Department said.
   The company, Zaappaaz, has already agreed to pay a $1.9 million criminal fine.
   Meanwhile, Makanojiva and Zaappaaz have agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division investigation. The plea agreements are subject to court approval.

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Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.
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