Processing Magazine

Monsanto settles Indonesian bribe case

January 20, 2005
According to the Associated Press, Monsanto Company has agreed to pay a total of $1.5 million in fines to settle Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department investigations into whether the agricultural chemicals and biotechnology company''s Indonesian businesses bribed local authorities. The case relates to a $50,000 illegal payment made to a government official in 2002 by a former outside Monsanto consultant under instructions by a former senior company manager, who falsified documents in seeking reimbursement for the sum. The payment was intended to persuade the official to overturn a decree which would have hurt Monsanto''s business in Indonesia. The official never overturned the decree, the company said. Monsanto agreed to pay $1 million to settle Justice Department charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act pertaining to the payment and related paperwork, as well as an additional $500,000 civil fine from the SEC for the matter. The SEC order also includes additional charges related to at least $700,000 in illegal or questionable payments made to Indonesian government officials between 1997 and 2002, the company said.