‘The Informant’ Whistle-blower Mark Whitacre to Address White-collar Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 02-17-2010

Brittany Hopkins
Public Affairs Intern
530-898-4143
Shirley Hopkins
College of Business
530-898-6215

The College of Business at California State University, Chico, will host a lecture by notorious whistle-blower Mark Whitacre at 5 p.m. on March 1, in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium. Whitacre’s presentation will detail his involvement in the 1990s FBI investigation of Archer Daniels Midland and his subsequent fall from grace.

While president of Archer Daniels Midland’s bio-products division in the 1990s, Whitacre assisted the FBI’s investigation into the corporation, becoming the nation’s highest level executive of a Fortune 500 company to become a whistle-blower. Over a three-year period, he helped expose one of the largest price-fixing cases in U.S. history. When it was discovered that he was personally involved in corporate kickbacks and money laundering, he lost his whistle-blower’s immunity and served an eight-year prison sentence.

The case has been the subject of hundreds of articles and two books, “Rats in the Grain” and “The Informant”, which was made into a 2009-release movie of the same title, starring Matt Damon as Whitacre.

After serving his federal prison sentence, Whitacre joined Cypress Systems, Inc., a Fresno based bio-technology company, where he is currently the chief operating officer and president of operations. A number of supporters advocate for a presidential pardon for Whitacre, including a prosecutor in the ADM case and James Lieber, an experienced attorney and the author of “Rats in the Grain.”

One of several lectures included in the 2010 Ethics Speakers Series, Whitacre’s March 1 presentation is free and open to the public. The series is one of several initiatives sponsored by the College of Business Center for Values Based Leadership, a program that is supported wholly by private gifts from generous alumni and friends of the college.

For more information, contact Shirley Hopkins, ethics coordinator, at 530-898-6215 or sahopkins@csuchico.edu.

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