September 4, 2015 / 1:08 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Japan's NGK Insulators to pay $65.3 million over price-fixing

* NGK Insulators to pay $65.3 mln for price-fixing

* NGK Insulators pleads guilty to U.S. Justice Department charges

* Justice Department to prosecute firm’s former president - Nikkei

* NGK shares fall as much as 3.5 pct in Tokyo (Changes dateline; adds company comments, details on executives returning their salaries)

By Minami Funakoshi and Diane Bartz

TOKYO/WASHINGTON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Japan’s NGK Insulators Ltd has agreed to pay $65.3 million for fixing the prices of parts supplied to car makers and plead guilty to criminal charges, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

The charges include obstruction of justice, based on attempts to stymie the Justice Department probe by destroying or changing documents, the government and the company said.

The conspiracy ran from about 2000 to 2010, with parts sold to General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, the government said.

Japan’s Nikkei reported that the Justice Department was expected to prosecute the company’s former president and two others in connection with the price-fixing plea deal.

A spokeswoman for NGK Insulators said the company would not comment on individuals involved in the prosecution.

NGK Insulators’ chief executive will return 50 percent of his monthly salary and other directors will return 30 percent of their salaries for three months, the company said in a statement.

“The company finds it very regrettable this sort of incident has happened...in the future, we will strengthen our compliance with law and work to regain trust,” the spokeswoman added.

NGK Insulators is one of 36 companies that have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty to fixing the prices of dozens of car parts as part of a long-running, global investigation.

Shares of NGK Insulators fell as much as 3.5 percent in Tokyo trading Friday morning. The broad Topix index was down 0.7 percent. (Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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