The Alfred C. Toepfer subsidiary of Archer, Daniel Midlands (ADM) of Decatur, Ill., bribed its way to $33 million worth of profits in the Ukraine.
Now ADM has been forced to return those profits plus $3.5 million in interest and to pay a fine of $17.8 million imposed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
“ADM's subsidiaries sought to gain a tax benefit by bribing government officials, and then attempted to deliberately conceal their conduct by funneling payments through local vendors,'' said acting assistant attorney general Mythili Raman in a news release.
“`ADM, in turn, failed to implement sufficient policies and procedures to prevent the bribe payments, although ultimately ADM disclosed the conduct, co-operated with the government, and instituted extensive remedial efforts,” the news release from the U.S. Justice Department said.'
About $22 million in bribes were made between 2002 and 2008 to receive more than $100 million in refunds on Ukrainian value-added taxes on locally-purchased goods, according to the Justice Department and SEC.
Purchasers could apply for refunds if those good were then exported, but the Ukrainian government sometimes delayed those refunds or didn't make them at all.
ADM's controls were ``lacklustre,'' said Gerald Hodgkins, an associate director at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Patricia Woertz, chief executive officer for ADM, said the company disclosed the bribes to federal officials in 2009.