Monsanto fined for phony accounting – Corporate executives return their bonuses!

roundup
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

When Monsanto agreed to pay regulators $80 million Tuesday for accounting missteps, the giant agribusiness’s chief executive also chipped in: He voluntarily agreed to return his bonus for the years the problems allegedly occurred.

Hugh Grant, who has served as Monsanto’s CEO for more than a decade, will return more $3,165,852 in cash bonuses and stock awards to the company. Carl Casale, the company’s former chief financial officer, will give back $728,843. It is the first time in memory that senior executives voluntarily agreed to return their bonuses in such a case…

Monsanto was accused of booking millions of revenue after launching a rebate program for one of its popular herbicide products, Roundup, but not properly accounting for the cost of the promotion. By 2009, according to the SEC, Monsanto’s Roundup was losing ground to cheaper competitors. It began to offer retailers or distributors rebates in order to encourage them to carry the herbicide despite its higher prices. The program helped boost sales, but when reporting its profits to shareholders, Monsanto did not reflect the cost of the effort, the SEC says.

❝“As a result of the improper accounting, Monsanto met consensus earnings-per-share analyst estimates for fiscal year 2009,” according to the SEC filing on the case.

“This type of conduct … is the latest page from a well-worn playbook of accounting misstatements,” SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in a statement…

Grant, 57, should be able to recoup his losses quickly. Monsanto increased his base pay 6.5 percent last year to $1.6 million. He also received a $1.9 million bonus and is eligible for nearly $10 million in “long-term incentives.”

Same as it ever was.

An internal whistleblower could collect up to $24 million of the $80 million penalty imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against agribusiness giant Monsanto…

The SEC said Tuesday that the St. Louis-based company agreed to pay the $80 million penalty and retain an independent compliance consultant to settle charges that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings pertaining to its flagship herbicide product Roundup…

The case came to the SEC’s attention as a result of a whistleblower complaint, according to Stuart D. Meissner, whose…firm Meissner Associates represented the unidentified whistleblower. He noted that the SEC’s whistleblower program allows a whistleblower to collect between 10 to 30 percent of the penalty.

The kind of motivation that scares the crap out of corporate giants like Monsanto.

2 thoughts on “Monsanto fined for phony accounting – Corporate executives return their bonuses!

  1. moss says:

    There really are no penalties for being a corporate crook in the GOUSA. Worst case scenario? You give back what you stole.

    At least some of it.

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