The companies charged are Howard Wagman & Co. of Philadelphia; A.A. Krejtman Inc. of Astoria, N.Y., and Paul Marsh Inc. of New York City. Also named is Paul Marsh, president of Paul Marsh Inc.
The allegations are outlined in three one-count felony informations. An information is a method of bringing charges that is an alternative to an indictment. A felony information normally is filed when a defendant has waived the right to indictment by a federal grand jury and has agreed to plead guilty.
Marsh and his company pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to the one count of bid-rigging, said Kent Brown, chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division in Chicago. The remaining defendants have not formally entered pleas but are to be arraigned in March, Brown said.
Howard Wagman & Co., formerly known as Wagman-Wolf Inc., and the other defendants each have agreed to pay $100,000 to settle related civil claims, Brown said.
Attempts to reach Howard Wagman and A.A. Krejtman representatives yesterday were unsuccessful. Paul Marsh Inc. declined to comment.
Prosecutors said that Federal Prision Industries, which employs prisoners at federal penitentiaries, bought the hog bristles for its paint-brush factory at the Leavenworth prison. The brushes were sold to the General Services Administration, the purchasing agency for the federal government.