When I was the Chief of the Philadelphia Field Office, we had the first successful extradition by the Antitrust Division of a fugitive defendant. In 2010 a British executive, Ian Norris, was extradited to the U.S. The UK authorities declined to extradite Norris to face the antitrust violation he was charged with, but he was extradited to face charges of obstruction of justice in connection with an international cartel grand jury investigation. He was ultimately convicted at trial of one count of obstruction and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
More recently, the Division successfully litigated an extradition proceeding on an antitrust charge. Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national who had been placed on an Interpol “red notice” after being indicted for involvement in the marine hose cartel, was arrested in Germany during a layover at the Frankfurt airport. He lost his ten-month fight against extradition and was brought to the United States in April 2014 to face a one-count felony indictment. Pisciotti quickly reached a plea agreement. http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f305500/305542.pdf.
The Pisciotti case has thrust the mechanics and possibility of extradition to the forefront of attention. The Division has used the Pisciotti case as an opportunity to publicly state in numerous forums that it will seek extradition wherever feasible. And, these days, with the exception of the local real estate bid rigging auction cases, nearly all of the Division’s defendants are citizens of foreign nations.
On June 24th, the ABA Antitrust Section, Criminal Cartel and Practice Committee http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=AT307000 hosted a timely and informative teleconference to discuss current issues around extradition. [Read more…]