Monsanto will pay $80 million to settle charges of accounting violations over its rebate program for Roundup, its top herbicide. In addition, a former financial executive at Monsanto Co. will collect a nearly $22.5 million reward for alerting the Securities and Exchange Commission of the accounting irregularities, says his lawyer.
The SEC also confirmed that it granted a reward, its second-largest since the whistleblower program start. It credited the whistleblower’s “detailed tip and extensive assistance” with helping to stop a “well-hidden fraud” at the tipster’s company.
The SEC said at the time that Monsanto didn’t properly account for tens of millions of dollars in rebates the company paid to retailers and distributors when booking sales amid sliding market share, 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, the agency said at the time.
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.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers