Archer Daniels Midland possible penalties for foreign bribes

Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world’s largest grain traders is speaking with the U.S. government about potential violations of foreign bribery laws, according to the company. The bribes relate to grain and feed exports and the company reported that it had fired employees as a result of an internal review of information it had obtained on the bribes. ADM could face civil fines or criminal penalties or be forced to disgorge profits for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits payment of bribes to foreign officials or their agents or family members in order to obtain business in foreign nations. ADM continues to look into the matter but has not released any details on the bribes. In August 2011, Archer Daniels disclosed that it could be subject to criminal fines over foreign bribes. In an annual report filed with regulators then, ADM said that it had hired outside lawyers to review certain transactions, mainly grain and feed exports in which they may have broken laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company was first informed in 2009 that the U.S. Department of Justice was reviewing the transactions. The company buys ships and sells agricultural commodities in more than 75 nations.