It is extremely important that association members and others involved with association business understand that the provisions of the antitrust laws regulate their conduct in association forums and at association meetings. Association members can be considered competitors. A thoughtless violation of the antitrust laws by a few members could result in expensive protracted litigation that could destroy the association and/or result in the prosecution of individual members. The most powerful Federal statute, the Sherman Act, provides substantial penalties for violation of the antitrust laws. Individuals can be fined up to $350,000 and imprisoned up to three years for violations. Corporations can be fined up to $10 million. In addition, defendants found guilty of violating the Sherman Act are subject to treble civil damages.