ID Man Admits to Bid-Rigging Scheme for Wildland Firefighting Fuel Service

The owner of a company that provided fuel truck services to the U.S. Forest Service’s wildland firefighters pleaded guilty to bid-rigging.

Ike Tomlinson, 60, of Terreton, admitted to conspiring to monopolize, rig bids, and allocate territories, violating Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, according to the Department of Justice.

The plea stems from a wiretap investigation that resulted in criminal charges against Tomlinson and co-defendant Kris Bird, 61, of Salmon.

From March 2015 to March 2023, Tomlinson conspired to rig bids and allocate territories in the market for wildfire-fighting fuel truck services in certain dispatch centers of the U.S. Forest Service’s Great Basin wildfire dispatch region. Additionally, prosecutor say, from February 2020 to March 2023, Tomlinson and Bird conspired to monopolize the same market, aiming to exclude competitors and maintain higher pricing power.

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The violation of the Sherman Act carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and corporations face fines up to $100 million. Sentencing will be determined by a federal district court judge.

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The owner of a company that provided fuel truck services to the U.S. Forest Service’s wildland firefighters pleaded guilty to bid-rigging. Ike Tomlinson, 60, of Terreton, admitted to conspiring to monopolize, rig bids, and allocate territories, violating Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, according to the Department of Justice. The plea stems […]

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