The U.S. Justice Department said Akil Kurji, owner and president of Houston-based e-commerce firm Gennex Media, pleaded guilty on Thursday in district court to conspiring to fix prices on custom promotional goods that were sold to customers throughout the U.S.
Kurji was charged on Nov. 1 for selling the items, which included wristbands, lanyards, temporary tattoos and buttons, between May 2014 and June 2016.
According to the Justice Department, the executive and his co-conspirators used social media platforms and encrypted messaging applications, such as Facebook, Skype and Whatsapp, to reach and implement their illicit agreement.
Kurji is the fifth individual to enter a guilty plea in the Justice Department’s ongoing promotional products investigation. So far, 11 defendants have been charged in the investigation into the online customized promotional products industry.
Price fixing is a violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals.
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