A whistleblower provided information to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the SEC is preparing to bring charges of FCPA violations regarding the internal accounting controls of Mondelez and the two parties are in settlement talks.
The specific issue under investigation and subject to potential charges involved the use of a consultant by its Cadbury division in India to pay bribes to officials for permits and approvals in connection with a factory. There are reportedly other questionable payments out of the division as well.
Mondelez International was created during the 2012 spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, the North American grocery business of the Kraft Foods. Mondelez continues to handle the old Kraft’s food and beverages (the snack division). Separately, Mondelez Global and Kraft Foods Group are involved in a lawsuit with the CFTC over allegations that Kraft manipulated the commodities market.
The SEC has received more than 400 tips concerning potential violations of the FCPA since opening the Whistleblower Office as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act. Soon after the whistleblower program began, and SEC official indicated that due to the size of the rewards he expected the FPCA to be fertile ground for individuals to submit information to the program.
International tips account for more than 10 percent of the reports to the SEC each year, but it is not clear whether the individual providing the tip was located overseas or in the United States.
Previously, there were media reports of a whistleblower in the case against Hewlett Packard. HP ultimately paid $108 million in April 2014 to settle an investigation into suspected bribery in Russia, Poland and Mexico.
If you are considering blowing the whistle on bribery by a publicly traded company, we have put together an informational guide for FCPA whistleblowers that may answer your questions. If you have need additional information, contact one of our FCPA whistleblower attorneys. We can assist you in reporting your evidence of bribery by a publicly traded company or other covered entity to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Please contact an attorney via our contact form or call 1-800-590-4116 for assistance.