Levitt & Kaizer, on behalf of the class of indirect purchasers in In re Packaged Ice Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1952 and the individual class representatives, asserted today the class’ rights as victims under the Crime Victims Rights Act (18 U.S.C. 3771) in connection with the criminal prosecution of Arctic Glacier and its former executives. They requested the opportunity to be heard before the court decides whether to accept any plea agreements. They also requested that the court postpone the upcoming arraignment of Arctic Glacier on October 27, 2009 and provide them with 30 days’ notice before the Court accepts any plea agreement. A copy of their letter is available here: CVRA Letter
As previously reported, these defendants entered into plea agreements on October 14, 2009. In apparent violation of the CVRA, the government entered into the plea agreements without conferring with the indirect purchasers beforehand. See, e.g., In re Dean, 527 F.3d 391, 394 (5th Cir. 2008) (“the government should have fashioned a reasonable way to inform the victims of the likelihood of criminal charges and to ascertain the victims’ views on the possible details of a plea bargain”). The CVRA provides, inter alia, “[t]he right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding … involving the crime,” “the right to confer with the attorney for the government” and “[t]he right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving … plea [or] sentencing.” 18 U.S.C. § 3771(a)(2)&(4)&(5). The CVRA further provides that “the court shall ensure that the crime victim is afforded the[se] rights.” 18 U.S.C. § 3771(b)(1).
Levitt & Kaizer and the Law Offices of Max Wild are interim co-lead counsel for the indirect purchaser class in In re Packaged Ice Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1952. The Perrin Law Firm is liaison counsel for the indirect purchaser class.