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Former security services executives have pleaded guilty to rigging bids for U.S. security contracts

Former security services executives have pleaded guilty to rigging bids for U.S. security contracts

Two former employees of security firm G4S Secure Solutions NV have pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust charges stemming from their involvement in a conspiracy to manipulate bids, fix prices, and allocate customers for defense-related security services contracts, the US Justice Department said on Monday.

"Bart Verbeeck, former director of sales, and Robby Van Mele, ex-director of operations, admitted that they, with their co-conspirators at competing firms, conspired to allocate security services contracts and to fix the prices at which the firms bid for contracts", the DOJ stated in a statement.

Both defendants are Belgian nationals residing in Belgium.

The allocated contracts included those for guarding, mobile monitoring, and surveillance services with the United States, through the Department of Defense, as well as with NATO's Communications and Information Agency (NATO).

As a result, the DOJ stated, security services providers' customers were deprived of securing competitive bidding and were charged unjustified, unresponsive prices for services.

G4S NV pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced for its involvement in the conspiracy. "The Department of Justice has also indicted several other members of the conspiracy," the statement added.

The investigation into the DOJ investigation is still ongoing, it stated.

"The division and its Procurement Collusion Strike Force partners will continue to investigate and prosecute individual and corporate wrongdoers who seek to exploit the government procurement process," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers of the DOJ's Antitrust Division.

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