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Misc: SEC sues former senior Monsanto manager Charles Martin for authorizing a bribe of $50,000




                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  SEC SUES FORMER SENIOR MONSANTO MANAGER CHARLES MARTIN FOR AUTHORIZING A BRIBE OF $50,000

SOURCE: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, USA

AUTHOR: Litigation Release No. 20029

URL:    http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2007/lr20029.htm

DATE:   06.03.2007

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SEC SUES FORMER SENIOR MONSANTO MANAGER CHARLES MARTIN FOR AUTHORIZING A BRIBE OF $50,000

Martin Agrees to Pay a Penalty of $30,000

SEC v. Charles Michael Martin, Case No. 1:07CV0434 (D.D.C.) (filed March 6, 2007)

 

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See also: Complaint in this matter

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2007/comp20029.pdf

please read more about the 2005 SEC vs. Monsanto case at:

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr19023.htm

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On March 6, 2007, the Commission filed a settled complaint against Charles Martin (”Martin”), the former Government Affairs Director for Asia for Monsanto Company (”Monsanto”), a global producer of technology-based solutions and agricultural products. In its complaint, the Commission alleged that in 2002, Martin authorized and directed an Indonesian consulting firm (”Consulting Firm”) to pay a bribe of $50,000 to a senior Indonesian Ministry of Environment official (”the Senior Environment Official”). The complaint alleged that the illegal payment was made to influence the Senior Environment Official to repeal language in a decree that was unfavorable to Monsanto’s business in Indonesia.

The complaint further alleged that to generate the funds to make the illegal $50,000 payment and to conceal the unlawful activity, Martin directed the Consulting Firm to create a set of invoices to falsely bill Monsanto in an amount sufficient to cover the illegal payment. Martin subsequently approved the false invoices for payment by Monsanto, and took steps to ensure that Monsanto paid the false invoices, thereby causing Monsanto’s books and records to be falsified and circumventing Monsanto’s system of internal accounting controls. Even though Martin’s scheme was carried out pursuant to his instructions and the $50,000 payment was made to the Senior Environment Official, the unfavorable decree remained in place.

Without admitting or denying the Commission’s allegations, Martin consented to the entry of a final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating and/or aiding and abetting violations of the anti-bribery, books and records, and internal control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Sections 30A, 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B), and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 13b2-1). Martin also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $30,000.

Based, in part, on these allegations, the Commission previously filed a settled enforcement action and instituted settled administrative proceedings against Monsanto. [SEC v. Monsanto Co., Case No. 1:05CV00014 (D.D.C. January 6, 2005); Monsanto Company, No. 3-11789, Exchange Act Rel. No. 19023 (January 6, 2005)].

The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the United States Department of Justice.

 



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  SEC FINES EX-MONSANTO EXECUTIVE FOR INDONESIAN BRIBE

SOURCE: Bloomberg, USA

AUTHOR: David Scheer

URL:    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNXa75VKO5zQ&refer=home

DATE:   06.03.2007

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SEC FINES EX-MONSANTO EXECUTIVE FOR INDONESIAN BRIBE

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- A former executive at Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest developer of genetically modified crops, was fined $30,000 for bribing an Indonesian official in an unsuccessful bid to repeal an environmental rule, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said.

Charles M. Martin, Monsanto’s former government affairs director in Asia, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2002 when he told a consultant to pay a senior Indonesian environmental official $50,000, the SEC said today. Martin arranged to book the bribe as part of the consultant’s fee.

Monsanto paid $1.5 million in settlements with the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 for the bribe and other questionable payments in Indonesia. The St. Louis-based company sought repeal of a rule requiring it to assess environmental impact before planting genetically modified cottonseed, the SEC said. Even after the bribe, the official didn’t change the law.

”The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act remains a significant part of our enforcement program, and we certainly intend to pursue not only entities but individuals,” Christopher Conte, an SEC official overseeing the case, said in an interview.

In fining Monsanto in 2005, the SEC said the company’s Indonesian affiliates also made at least $700,000 in illicit payments to at least 140 current and former Indonesian officials and their families. The payments were partially financed through unauthorized, improperly documented, and inflated sales of Monsanto’s pesticide products in the country.

Martin neither admitted nor denied the accusations in agreeing to settle the SEC’s civil lawsuit, filed at U.S. District Court in Washington today, the SEC said. His attorney, Richard Scheff in Philadelphia, didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

Monsanto resolved its part of the case more than two years ago, and today’s action ”is strictly between the individual and the SEC,” company spokeswoman Lori Fisher said.

The case is SEC v. Martin, No. 07-CV-434, U.S. District Court, Washington D.C.

 


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