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Antitrust Division Secures Conviction Against Extradited Foreign Executive – the Division’s Second of the Year

March 17, 2020

Korean national Eun Soo Kim, a former key accounts manager for an automotive parts company, pled guilty on March 2 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to conspiring to rig bids and allocate market for instrument panel clusters to automobile producers.

Kim admitted to his role in the conspiracy during at least as early as February 2008 until as late as May 2012. Kim had been a fugitive for nearly five years.[1]

Kim was arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, in September 2019. Ultimately, he agreed to be extradited and arrived in the United States on February 28, 2020. The court sentenced him to serve nine months in prison with credit for his detention before being extradited. He was also ordered to pay a criminal fine of $130,000.

The automotive parts investigation is the largest to date by the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice resulting in the prosecution of 48 corporations and 65 individuals.[2] Criminal fines exceeded $2.9 billion, and 32 executives were sentenced to prison terms ranging from a year and a day to two years, along with criminal fines.

The extradition is the second for the Antitrust Division since the beginning of the year. In January, the Antitrust Division extradited Dutch national Maria Christina “Meta” Ullings from Italy. Ullings was then convicted of conspiring to fix surcharge rates on air cargo shipments.[3] She had been a fugitive for nearly 10 years.

This case is the eighth extradition case handled by the Antitrust Division and the third involving solely a Sherman Act charge and not involving other criminal offenses. Since 2010, extradition proceedings of executives in the Antitrust Division cases have been held in seven countries: United Kingdom (2010), Israel (2012), Germany (2014 & 2020), Canada (2014), Bulgaria (2016), Spain (2018), and Italy (2020).[4]

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Silicon Valley/Washington, DC
Mark L. Krotoski

London
Omar Shah

Washington, DC
Clay Everett



[1] Press Release, US Dep’t of Justice, Extradited Former Automotive Parts Executive Pleads Guilty to Antitrust Charge (March 3, 2020); see also Affidavit in support of request for extradition of Eun Soo Kim, United States v. Eun Soo Kim, No. 1:19-mc-00672 (NDIL Oct. 3, 2019) (ECF 1).

[4] For background on the prior Antitrust Division extradition cases, see Mark L. Krotoski, Extradition Lessons Learned, MLex (Nov. 28, 2016); Mark L. Krotoski, Extradition in International Antitrust Enforcement Cases, The Antitrust Source (Apr. 2015); LawFlash, Case Highlights DOJ Focus, Extradition Efforts In Ecommerce Price-Fixing Conspiracy (Feb. 5, 2019); LawFlash, DOJ’s Antitrust Division Convicts Fifth Extradited Foreign Executive (Mar. 16, 2017).