By Stephanie K. Mann, J.D.
Carter Brett is the fifth individual to be charged in the government’s ongoing probe.
As part of its ongoing antitrust investigation into bid rigging, price fixing, and other anticompetitive conduct in the commercial flooring industry, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division has announced that Carter Brett has been charged with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices for commercial flooring products and services, and for his role in a money laundering conspiracy involving conspiracy. Brett, an account executive for an unnamed large flooring manufacturer, is the fifth person to be charged in the conspiracy (U.S. v. Brett, Case: 20-CR-0080).
According to the two-count felony charge filed in the district court in Chicago, Brett engaged in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition in the commercial flooring market by initiating and orchestrating a bid rotation conspiracy among three commercial flooring installation companies so that the designated company would win the bidding for jobs at a suburban community college. The alleged activity is believed to have taken place from 2013 until June 22, 2017.
The second count alleges that Brett engaged in a money laundering conspiracy wherein Brett solicited and accepted kickbacks from his co-conspirators in exchange for offering those co-conspirators unlawfully low pricing. The charge allege that Brett established a shell corporation for the sole purpose of receiving the illegal kickback payments. The alleged activity is believed to have taken place from 2013 until late 2017.
Previously, the Antitrust Division had noted that as many as nine companies were involved in the challenged conduct. One of those companies, PCI FlorTech, agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $150,000 criminal fine. Also named was Michael P. Gannon, who is a former Vice President of Sales for Mr. David's Flooring International, LLC. Gannon agreed to plead guilty for his role in the conspiracy in April 2019.
Companies: Mr. David's Flooring International, LLC; PCI FlorTech, Inc.
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