ADM ‘whistleblower’ Mark Whitacre to speak at CBA’s business ethics luncheon

dailynebraskan

Mark Whitacre will give the keynote speech at the College of Business Administration’s Business Ethics Program “Beyond the Bottom Line” luncheon on Feb. 19 at the Wick Alumni Center.

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This is the first luncheon of its kind. It’s part of a program designed to spark conversation between the business community, the Business Ethics program and CBA student leaders on ethical issues in the workplace.

The luncheon costs $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight, according to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln news release. The reservation deadline is today.

Whitacre will also present the Spring 2013 Ethics Day Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, according to the news release.

Whitacre is the whistleblower responsible for exposing Archer Daniels Midland in its price-fixing scandal of 1993. ADM is an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation based in Decatur, Ill. ADM hired Whitacre when he was 32. At age 35, he became a corporate vice president for ADM and was a strong candidate for the next ADM president.

The scandal was an organized effort between five high-tech fermentation technologies companies, including companies in Japan and Korea. The companies tried to raise the price of the animal feed additive lysine. Pending a criminal investigation, ADM’s three executives were fined and given a three-year prison sentence for colluding with the other companies to fix prices.

For his whistleblowing, ADM requested the FBI investigate Whitacre for embezzlement after company officials noticed suspicious activity in his work. The FBI discovered $9.5 million in fraud charges and took away Whitacre’s whistleblower immunity. He was then sent to federal prison for nearly nine years. Whitacre’s story inspired the film, “The Informant,” which came out in 2009 and starred Matt Damon as Whitacre.

Since being released in December 2006, Whitacre serves as the chief operating officer and president of operations at Cypress Systems, which is a California biotechnology firm.

This article originally appeared on dailynebraskan

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