- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Japanese shipping company executive is going to U.S. federal prison for conspiring to fix prices for ocean shipments of vehicles.

The Justice Department says Toru Otoda, a former divisional manager at the company known as “K” Line, was sentenced Thursday in Baltimore to 18 months after pleading guilty to an antitrust violation. The company’s full name is Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.

He is the third “K” Line executive and the fourth individual sentenced to prison in a conspiracy that ran from at least February 1997 to September 2012. Prosecutors say it affected the shipping costs of cars and trucks at U.S. ports, including Baltimore.

“K” Line agreed to pay a $67.7 criminal fine in September. Two other companies have been fined a total of $68.3 million for their involvement.

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