Archived — Individual Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids for a Government of Canada Contract

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Ottawa, June 9, 2009 — The Competition Bureau announced today that an individual has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of rigging bids in a Transport Canada tendering process for an information technology contract.

Theodore Martin, the former owner of TRM Technologies Inc., was fined $25,000. In addition, a prohibition order has been issued against TRM Technologies.

"Bid-rigging is a criminal offence, which deprives purchasers of the benefits of a competitive market. The Competition Bureau will continue to vigorously seek prosecution against those who thwart competitive bidding," said Melanie L. Aitken, Interim Commissioner of Competition.

This plea follows the laying of charges on February 17, 2009. Mr. Martin is the second individual to plead guilty in this case. Shannon Lambert of Veritaaq Technology House Inc. (Veritaaq), pleaded guilty to one count of bid-rigging on February 23, 2009. She fully cooperated with the Bureau's investigation. Ms. Lambert was given an absolute discharge and made a $5,000 donation to charity. In addition, a prohibition order was issued against Veritaaq.

The case is ongoing against the remaining seven companies and twelve individuals accused of rigging bids to obtain Government of Canada contracts for information technology services.

Under the Bureau's Immunity Program, the first party to disclose to the Bureau an offence not yet detected, or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges, may receive immunity from the Director of Public Prosecutions, as long as the party cooperates with the Bureau.

Parties that approach the Bureau early in its investigation of criminal activities may also be able to benefit from leniency, such as reduced penalties, in return for their cooperation. Obtaining the cooperation of implicated parties through the Bureau's Immunity and Leniency Programs is one of the Bureau's best weapons to combat these secret criminal anti‑competitive agreements.

The Bureau's investigation found evidence of criminal activity in ten competitive bidding processes during 2005, for contracts related to IT professional services provided to the Canada Border Services Agency, Public Works and Government Services Canada, and Transport Canada.

The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.


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