A former financial executive at Monsanto Co. will collect a nearly $22.5 million reward for alerting the Securities and Exchange Commission to alleged accounting violations related to the company’s trademark weedkiller, a lawyer for the whistleblower said.
The SEC said [Aug. 30] it granted a reward. . . but it didn’t disclose information about the case. It credited the whistleblower’s “detailed tip and extensive assistance” with helping to stop a “well-hidden fraud” at the tipster’s company.
Monsanto agreed in February to pay $80 million to settle accusations of accounting violations relating to a rebate program for Roundup, its signature herbicide. The SEC said. . . that Monsanto didn’t properly account for tens of millions of dollars in rebates the company paid to retailers and distributors . . ., leading Monsanto to “materially” misstate its earnings over a three-year period. Monsanto agreed to the penalty while not admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations. . .
A representative for Monsanto declined to comment.
Stuart Meissner, the attorney who represented the whistleblower, said his client went to the SEC only after first trying to correct the issues internally.
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