The U.S. Department of Justice announced it has charged the former VP of sales of a Chicago-based commercial flooring contractor with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices for flooring products and services.

Michael P. Gannon received a one-count felony charge accusing him and his employer, which is not named, of engaging “in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition in the commercial flooring market by agreeing with other individuals and companies to submit 'comp,' or complementary, bids so that the designated company would win the bidding.” The charge, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, states that Gannon and co-conspirators engaged in rigging bids from 2009 to June 22, 2017.

Although the DOJ’s announcement did not include the name of the flooring contractor that employed Gannon, Gannon’s LinkedIn profile states he worked for Mr. David’s Flooring International as Vice President Sales from 2007–2018.

The DOJ indicated that more charges could be filed as its investigation continues.

“Today’s charge is the first of what we expect to be many in this ongoing investigation into bid rigging,” Assistant Attorney General Delrahim stated April 3. “Any collusion by commercial flooring contractors exploits local communities whose schools, hospitals, charities, and businesses are entitled to the benefits of competitive bidding.”

The maximum penalty for a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act outlawing monopolistic business practices is a $100 million fine and 10 years in prison for corporations, and a $1 million criminal fine for individuals.