Three former top Archer Daniels Midland Co. executives and a Japanese businessman were indicted today on federal charges of conspiring to fix prices in the worldwide market for the feed additive lysine.
A Korean company, Cheil Jedang Ltd., also agreed to plead guilty to separate charges and pay a $1.25 million fine.
This is the third round of charges brought in the department’s antitrust investigation. In October, Archer Daniels Midland pleaded guilty and paid $100 million, the largest criminal antitrust fine in history, for its role in two international conspiracies to fix prices and divide up world markets.
Among those charged today by the federal grand jury in Chicago was the chief whistle-blower in the case, Mark E. Whitacre of Chapel Hill, N.C., the former president of ADM’s BioProducts Division. During more than two years as an FBI informant, Whitacre made covert tape recordings of ADM meetings for prosecutors. ADM fired Whitacre in 1995, accusing him of embezzling funds.
Also indicted was Michael D. Andreas of Decatur, Ill., Terrance S. Wilson of Decatur and Kazutoshi Yamada of Tokyo, managing director of Ajinomoto Co. Inc.