Three executives affiliated with Japanese supplier Nishikawa Rubber Co. have been indicted in federal court for their alleged roles in a price-fixing scheme.
The indictment is the latest move in an ongoing, industrywide federal investigation into price fixing and bid rigging among suppliers.
Keiji Kyomoto, Mikio Katsumaru and Yuji Kuroda are accused of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for weatherstripping and rubber seals sold to Toyota and Honda for vehicles made and sold in the U.S.
Kyomoto and Kuroda are listed as being employed by Nishikawa, but a statement from the U.S. Justice Department said only one executive was still employed by the company. According to the Nishikawa's website, Kyomoto is a director on the board, while Kuroda is an operating officer.
All three are accused in the indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Kentucky, of conspiring on price fixing from as early as September 2003 through at least October 2011. Katsumaru and Kuroda are also alleged to have ordered employees to destroy evidence of the conspiracy. They face up to 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
A spokesman for Nishikawa Rubber, headquartered in Hiroshima, Japan, declined to comment because legal action is ongoing.
Nishikawa Rubber is not named in the indictment or the Justice Department press release.