SEC investigating allegations of personal misuse of Dow Chem funds by its CEO

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating allegations that Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of industrial giant Dow Chemical Co. misused company funds for personal benefit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The SEC has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony, part of a whistleblower-retaliation lawsuit last year of former Dow employee, Kimberly Wood. Ms.Wood was a fraud investigator at Dow who alleged that company money had financed vacations, sports junkets and other perks for Liveris and his family. Dow settled her case earlier this year and isn’t speaking.

In May, Reuters revealed a series of internal examinations by Dow’s auditors, including former chief auditor Doug Anderson, spanned a period from 2008 to 2013. Upon leaving the company in 2013,  Anderson sent a memo to top company officials labeled “DOW CONFIDENTIAL.” In it, he raised concerns about what he called “suspected ethical and compliance issues or violations.”

Wood filed state and federal whistleblower lawsuits last year against Dow, Liveris and the company’s top lawyer, Charles Kalil. She alleged that she was fired in 2013 for repeatedly reporting questionable spending by the CEO on activities unrelated to the company’s business. Wood worked at Dow, the Midland, Michigan-based company, for 25 years.

Liveris has spent 11 years as CEO at Dow. The company generated $58 billion in revenue last year.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.