FCPA Violations Disclosed During Monsanto’s Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence
July 26, 2007 — The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions against Delta & Pine Land Company, a Mississippi-based cottonseed producer, and its 100% owned subsidiary, Turk Deltapine, Inc. From 2001 to 2006, Turk Deltapine made payments of approximately $43,000 to officials of the Turkish Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs in order to obtain various governmental reports and certifications that were necessary for Turk Deltapine to obtain, retain and operate its business in Turkey.
The improper payments were first discovered by U.S. officers of Delta & Pine in 2004. Instead of stopping the payments, Delta & Pine made arrangements to fund them through a third party supplier in Turkey. The payments violated both the antibribery provisions and the accounting standards. Delta & Pine and Turk Deltapine jointly agreed to pay a $300,000 civil penalty and engage an independent compliance consultant.
Monsanto Company acquired Delta & Pine on June 1, 2007. The payments came to light in connection with Monsanto’s pre-acquisition due diligence and were then reported to the SEC. The Department of Justice has not yet indicated whether it will seek criminal enforcement action against Delta & Pine, Turk Deltapine, or any of their respective directors, officers, employees and agents.
View the SEC’s Complaint here.
View the Cease and Desist Order here.