ADM Agrees to Pay $36.5 Million to Settle SEC Bribe Case

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) agreed to pay $36.5 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve allegations it bribed officials in Ukraine to win tax refunds.

ADM paid about $22 million to Ukranian government officials in order to win more than $100 million in tax refunds in violation of U.S. anti-bribery laws, the SEC said today in a complaint filed with the proposed settlement in federal court in Urbana, Illinois. The agreement must be approved by a federal judge.

ADM units in Hamburg and Ukraine allegedly made the payments to third party vendors from 2002 to 2008 and improperly recorded them on their financial statements in violation of the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to the complaint.

In order to disguise the payments, the ADM units logged the transactions as “export-related services and insurance premiums to third parties,” the SEC said.

ADM declined to comment on the SEC complaint or settlement. In a Nov. 1 filing with the SEC, ADM said it reserved $54 million to resolve foreign bribery probes which the company disclosed to investors in 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net

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