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Aftermarket Auto-Lights Executive Arrested for Price-Fixing

Homy Hong-Ming Hsu is the third person charged by U.S. in auto-lights industry investigation.

Homy Hong-Ming Hsu, an executive of a Taiwan-based manufacturer of aftermarket auto lights, was indicted on July 19 for participating in a global conspiracy to fix the prices of aftermarket auto lights.

Aftermarket auto lights are incorporated into an automobile after its original sale, often as repairs following a collision or as accessories and upgrades.

According to a one-count felony indictment filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Homy Hong-Ming Hsu conspired with others to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of aftermarket auto lights.

The department said that Hsu, the vice chairman and second highest-ranking officer of a Taiwan manufacturer of aftermarket auto lights, participated in the conspiracy from as early as November 2001 until about September 2008.

According to the charge, Hsu and co-conspirators participated in a conspiracy in which the participants met and agreed to charge prices of aftermarket auto lights at certain predetermined levels.

The participants in that conspiracy issued price announcements and price lists in accordance with the agreements reached, and collected and exchanged information on prices and sales of aftermarket auto lights for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon prices, according to the indictment.

The department said that the conspirators met in Taiwan, the United States and elsewhere for their discussions.

Hsu is the third individual to be charged in connection with the departments ongoing investigation into the aftermarket auto-lights industry.

On March 30, Polo Shu-Sheng Hsu was sentenced to serve 180 days in prison and to pay a $25,000 criminal fine for his participation in the aftermarket auto-lights price-fixing conspiracy.

On June 7, Chien Chung Chen, aka Andrew Chen, pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13.

Both Polo Shu-Sheng Hsu and Chen were executives at U.S. companies that distributed aftermarket auto lights.

Hsu is charged with violating the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine for individuals.

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