SEC awards $22 million to Monsanto whistleblower

A former Monsanto Co. financial executive who blew the whistle on accounting practices at the Creve Coeur-based seed and agrochemical company has been awarded a $22.4 million share of the government’s settlement with the company, according to his lawyer.

The executive, who was not named, told the Securities and Exchange Commission about misleading accounting surrounding sales of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, attorney Stuart Meissner said Tuesday.

The SEC in February slapped Monsanto with an $80 million civil penalty. Monsanto had been using millions of dollars in rebates to boost sales of Roundup, which was facing heavy competition. From 2009 to 2011, Monsanto booked “substantial” revenue from Roundup sales, the SEC said, but failed to recognize the costs of the rebates in the proper year.

That made Monsanto’s profits look higher than they really were, the SEC said in February.

The SEC announced the amount of the whistleblower’s award in a press release Tuesday, but did not name the individual or the company involved. The agency tries to keep whistleblowers’ identities secret. An SEC spokesman wouldn’t comment when asked if the company was Monsanto.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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