Sargent v. United States

785 F.2d 1123 (1986)

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Sargent v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
785 F.2d 1123 (1986)

  • Written by Heather Whittemore, JD

Facts

Sargent Electric Co. (Sargent) (defendant) was an electric company in Pennsylvania that competed with other companies for electrical construction jobs. In the bidding system, a company could only bid on a job if the company was on a preapproved bid list. In 1983 a grand jury charged Sargent and other electric companies with violating § 1 of the Sherman Act by rigging bids for jobs at the Western Pennsylvania Works of U.S. Steel (Western Works). Sargent was found guilty and fined $1 million for the violation. In 1984 a grand jury charged Sargent and three other electric companies with violating § 1 of the Sherman Act by rigging bids for jobs at the Fairless Hills Works of United States Steel Corporation (Fairless Hills). Sargent moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing it was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The district court held an evidentiary hearing and found that one conspiracy existed among Sargent and the other electric companies to rig bids whenever possible. Even though not all the companies were on the bid list for each facility, the district court reasoned that the companies could be added to the bid list, making the companies direct competitors. The district court dismissed the indictment on double-jeopardy grounds. The United States government (plaintiff) appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gibbons, J.)

Concurrence (Stapleton, J.)

Dissent (Adams, J.)

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