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The Language of Fraud Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190270643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190270643.001.0001

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Price-Fixing (Fraud)

Price-Fixing (Fraud)

(p.251) 9 Price-Fixing (Fraud)
The Language of Fraud Cases

Roger W. Shuy

Oxford University Press

Marc Whitacre of Archer Daniels Midland reported to the government that his company was involved in price-fixing. He then began tape-recording his meetings with his boss, Michael Andreas, and other lysine manufacturers. A 1993 meeting with Japanese lysine manufacturers was thought to contain the critical evidence of price-fixing. The parties talked about the growth of volume and possible legal problems of competition. The Japanese introduced the topic of possible allocation of market shares, moving the conversation into legally questionable territory. Andreas’s schema of the meeting changed when topics of the potential allocation and sharing market growth were raised. No agreement to allocate lysine was made during this meeting. This smoking gun evidence was produced by the Japanese executives, not by Andreas. This was about all that could be used to defend ADM, however, since during later tape-recorded meetings the speech act of agreeing was clearly made by all parties.

Keywords:   legislative statutes, market allocation, sharing market growth, merged business interests, schemas, agendas, themes, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns

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