Auto parts industry executives indicted for obstruction of justiceStaff Writer | September 22, 2016
A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan returned an indictment charging one current and one former automotive parts industry executive with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation.
Auto industry More than 100 charged in auto parts investigation
The indictment, filed in Detroit, charges Futoshi Higashida and Mikio Katsumaru with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation. Higashida is also charged with attempted obstruction of justice.
During the charged conspiracy, Katsumaru was employed by an automotive parts company in Japan, and Higashida worked there and in Novi, Michigan, as president of that company’s U.S. joint venture with another company.
According to the indictment, the defendants, along with their co-conspirators, conspired from at least as early as June 2008 until at least September 2012 to delete emails and electronic records and to destroy documents referring to communications with competitors.
In addition, according to the indictment, Higashida instructed another individual on or about September 25, 2012, to ensure that no phone numbers or call records remained on his cellular telephone and that no data remained on his computer that would reflect competitor communications.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
A total of 65 individuals and 47 companies have been charged in the Antitrust Division’s investigations into the automotive parts industry. ■