New Jersey Bid Rigging Lawyers

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Experienced NJ bid rigging lawyers

In simple terms, bid rigging is fraud which involved bidding. It is an agreement among competitors as to who will be the winning bidder. Bid rigging occurs when a purchaser solicits bids to purchase goods or services. The bidders agree in advance who will submit the winning bid. The purchaser, which depends on competition between the bidders to generate the lowest competitive price, receives instead a “lowest bid” that is higher than the competitive market would bear.

There are four basic schemes involved in most bid-rigging conspiracies:

Bid Suppression: In this type of bid rigging scheme, one or more competitors agree not to bid, or withdraw a previously submitted bid, so that a designated bidder will win. In return, the non-bidder may receive a subcontract or payoff.
Complementary Bidding: In this scheme, co-conspirators submit token bids which are intentionally high or which intentionally fail to meet all of the bid requirements in order to lose a contract. “Comp bids” are designed to give the appearance of competition.

Bid Rotation: In bid rotation, all co-conspirators submit bids, but by agreement, take turns being the low bidder on a series of contracts.

Customer or Market Allocation: In this bid rigging scheme, co-conspirators agree to divide up customers or geographic areas. The result is that the co-conspirators will not bid or will submit only complementary bids when a solicitation for bids is made by a customer or in an area not assigned to them. This scheme is most commonly found in the service sector and may involve quoted prices for services as opposed to bids.

Subcontracting arrangements are often part of a bid-rigging scheme. Competitors who agree not to bid or to submit a losing bid frequently received subcontracts or supply contracts in exchange from the successful low bidder. In some schemes, a low bidder will agree to withdraw its bid in favor of the next low bidder, in exchange for a lucrative subcontract that divides the illegally obtained higher profits between them.

Almost all forms of bid-rigging schemes have one thing in common: an agreement among some or all of the bidders which predetermines the winning bidder and limits or eliminates competition among the conspiring vendors.

Bid rigging is punishable under several federal criminal statutes, most notably 15 U.S.C. §1.

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