Extradited Foreign Executive Jailed for Obstructing DOJ Antitrust Investigation

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On March 23, 2010, for the first time in the history of the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a foreign defendant, Mr. Ian Norris, a U.K. citizen and the retired CEO of the Morgan Crucible Company plc, was extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States to face charges that he obstructed DOJ's criminal investigation of a cartel among carbon manufacturers. Mr. Norris' extradition has been viewed as a key event in criminal cartel enforcement and evidence of DOJ's resolve to extradite foreign national defendants who try to evade DOJ's jurisdiction. Almost nine months later, on December 10, 2010, Mr. Norris was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and to pay a $25,000 criminal fine by Judge Eduardo Robreno in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

In a press release, DOJ described how Mr. Norris orchestrated an elaborate conspiracy with his subordinates to obstruct the grand jury's investigation by creating a false script that employees of both Morgan Crucible and its competitor were to follow when questioned during the investigation. DOJ added that the conspiracy also included the formation of a document destruction task force to collect and destroy or conceal documents from the grand jury.

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