The Monsanto whistleblower, represented by Meissner Associates, was awarded the second largest whistleblower award by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in U.S. history. Becoming a whistleblower isn’t an easy process, and after almost seven years of interviews with the SEC, our client was rewarded for his efforts.
The Issue at Monsanto
Monsanto came under fire after the anonymous whistleblower, who worked in the company’s financial department, came upon information that the company was improperly accounting for millions of dollars of rebates offered to distributors for the herbicide product Roundup.
Essentially, to protect the outlook of the product sales predicted to investors, Monsanto reportedly applied the costs of the rebates to fiscal year 2010 but listed the sales of these same rebates in fiscal year 2009.
The SEC did not say this was illegal, but rather that doing so allowed the company to meet analyst estimates it would have otherwise not met. Not meeting those expectations could have caused Monsanto’s stock value to fall drastically.
Without admitting any fault, Monsanto agreed to pay penalties of $80 million, and three accountants were singled out and forced to pay a combined total of $135,000 in penalties. There were no enforceable actions taken against the company’s chief executive officer or chief financial officer, who, the whistleblower said, knew of the improprieties within the company.
The Monsanto Whistleblower
This whistleblower didn’t report his findings in the hopes of winning an award. Coming forward created tension with his colleagues, although he was able to remain anonymous and continue working in his industry at a different company. What he hoped to accomplish was action to prevent future similar incidents.
His ultimate goal was to see action taken. After his attempts at internal reporting went unnoticed, and the violation continued due to the “go-with-the-flow” nature of those involved in the matter, he did what was necessary by reporting to the SEC.
After all was said and done, the Monsanto whistleblower was able to walk away with a $22 million award after making multiple trips to meet with SEC officials and making himself available to assist in any way he could. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easy path, but after many years, the Monsanto whistleblower can finally get back to his life with a clear conscience.
Consult with an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
The Monsanto whistleblower case gained some of the greatest media attention for a case like this to date. That’s largely due to the massive award the whistleblower was able to collect. His award was so substantial not only because his tip directly led to the enforceable action taken by the SEC, but also because the commission was able to recover enormous penalties.
If you believe you have been made aware of a securities law violation and are interested in learning more about what it takes to become a reward-winning whistleblower, contact a qualified SEC whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates. You can schedule a free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or giving us a call at 1-866-764-3100.