COMPANY AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY AND PAY $28.5 MILLION FINE

COMPANY AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY AND PAY $28.5 MILLION FINE

Washington, D.C.- A Luxembourg-based manufacturer of polyester staple

and its former U.S. director of textile staples today agreed to plead guilty

for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and allocate customers in the

polyester staple industry, the Department of Justice announced. Polyester

staple is a petroleum-derived fiber used to make products such as clothing,

table linens, and upholsteries.

According to separate charges filed today in U.S. District Court in Charlotte,

Arteva Specialties, S.a.r.l., d/b/a KoSa, a Luxembourg company with its

principal place of business in Charlotte, and its former director of textile

staples, Troy F. Stanley, Sr., a U.S. citizen and resident of Forest City,

North Carolina, conspired with unnamed co-conspirators to suppress and

eliminate competition in the North American polyester staple industry from at

least September 1999 through January 2001.

Pursuant to their plea agreements, KoSa has agreed to plead guilty and to pay

a $28.5 million criminal fine, while Stanley also has agreed to plead guilty,

to pay a $20,000 criminal fine, and to serve eight months jail time, all

subject to court approval.

Todays cases reflect the Antitrust Divisions resolve to prosecute companies

and executives engaged in cartels that harm American consumers, said Charles

A. James, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Departments Antitrust

Division.

KoSa and Stanley carried out the conspiracy with unnamed co-conspirators by

participating in meetings and conversations where prices and customers were

discussed and agreements reached; selling polyester staple at the agreed-upon

prices and to the agreed-upon customers; monitoring and enforcing adherence to

the agreements; and issuing price announcements and quotations in accordance

with their agreements.

Todays cases are the second and third to be brought in the polyester staple

industry. On September 13, 2002, Robert Bradley Dutton formerly of Nan Ya

Plastics Corporation was indicted for conspiring to fix prices and allocate

customers in the polyester staple industry. He is awaiting trial.

KoSa and Stanley are charged with violating Section One of the Sherman Act,

which carries a maximum penalty of a $10 million fine for corporations and a

maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $350,000 for

individuals. The maximum fines may be increased to twice the gain derived from

the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of

those amounts exceeds the statutory maximum fine. At sentencing, the court

will determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed under the U.S.

Sentencing Guidelines and whether to accept the plea agreements.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Divisions

Dallas Field Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Dallas.

Anyone with information concerning price fixing in the polyester staple

industry should contact the Antitrust Divisions Dallas Office at (214)

880-9401, or the FBIs Dallas Office at (214) 720-2200.