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Honda Executives Settle Racketeering Lawsuit

May 9, 1996

BALTIMORE (AP) _ A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a series of settlements with five former Honda executives involved in a civil racketeering case.

The settlements, which were given preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, total $1.75 million and, if given final approval, would end the case against the five.

All of the defendants have been convicted of various criminal violations in connection with a national racketeering scheme which existed within Honda, according to Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, a Sacramento, Calif., law firm representing some of the plaintiff dealerships.

The law firm said in a release Wednesday that civil cases were brought by individual Honda dealers two years ago against American Honda, Honda Motor Company and a number of Honda’s former executives.

As a consequence of the criminal bribery and kickback conspiracy uncovered in 1994, the plaintiff dealers alleged they were denied their fair share of Honda cars throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the firm said.

Because of the volume of cases filed, the Federal Multidistrict Litigation Panel transferred all the cases to Motz, in Baltimore.

A hearing on final approval of the settlements is scheduled for July 26.

The settlements were apparently reached with Robert Rivers, Honda’s former western regional manager; John Conway, Honda’s former eastern regional manager and a one-time Honda dealer; David Pedersen and Frank Pisano, former zone managers, and Beatrice Sikora, Honda’s former head traffic assistant.

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