U.S. Halts Coke-Price Fixing Investigation

Dec. 28, 2004
Not enough evidence for indictments

As reported by Indianapolis Star, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has ended its investigation into price-fixing charges against metallurgical coke producers. "We did not feel we had sufficient evidence to bring indictments," said Laura Heiser, a trial attorney for the department’s antitrust division.

The investigation began early in 2003, reviewing documents provided by Indianapolis-based Citizens Gas & Coke Utility and other coke manufacturers. The investigation also targeted executives of the companies, though they, too, have been cleared.

"You have to have probable cause" to show to a jury that a price-fixing conspiracy existed, Heiser told the newspaper. "We certainly didn't feel we had sufficient evidence to do that."