Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc. is the latest, and largest, Chicago-based flooring company to be charged for its role in a long-running bid-rigging cartel in the Chicago area, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced.
Vortex, which was acquired by New York City-based Consolidated Carpet in 2019, pleaded guilty to the charge and agreed to pay at least $1.4 million in fines and restitution for its role in the conspiracy. Two Vortex executives pleaded guilty to involvement in the scheme in March.
Vortex pleaded guilty in late August and is believed to have participated in the conspiracy from 2009 untilJune 2017, according to the DOJ.
“Vortex is the largest flooring corporation charged to date in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of Chicago-area commercial flooring contractors,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division stated. “The conduct cheated public institutions, including public schools, and the defendant has agreed to pay restitution to the victims.”
Vortex is the second corporate guilty plea in the DOJ’s crackdown on the bid-rigging scheme in the Chicago area, the first being PCI FlorTech in August 2019.
“The Antitrust Division will continue its efforts to make whole victims of criminal conspiracies,” Delrahim added.