John Terzaken III's name is little known in the automotive industry, but his actions are well-known. As the head of the Justice Department's auto parts price-fixing investigation, Terzaken, 39, and his colleagues had at last count secured guilty pleas from nine auto suppliers and 12 executives for price-fixing and bid-rigging a variety of automotive components.
The rigged bids and conspiracies to pre-determine prices among different suppliers resulted in lower profits for automakers and higher costs for consumers. Though Terzaken stepped down in July, the bid-rigging investigation he headed continues unabated.
The U.S. investigation is being coordinated with regulators in Asia and Europe and involves activity that artificially boosted the prices of auto parts in the United States for a decade or more.