Polyester manufacturer Arteva Specialties on Thursday agreed to pay a $28.5 million fine after it admitted conspiring to fix prices and allocate customers.

The US Justice Department said in a news release that Arteva, a division of Luxembourg-based KoSa and which has offices in North Carolina, had pleaded guilty to the cartel charges.

It added the firm's former director of textile staples, Troy Stanley Sr, pleaded guilty to charges filed against him and had agreed to pay a $20,000 fine and go to prison for eight months.

"Today's cases reflect the Antitrust Division's resolve to prosecute companies and executives engaged in cartels that harm American consumers," said Charles James, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.

The company and ex-official had been charged with conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition in the North American polyester staple industry from September 1999 until January 2001.