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Mark Whitacre: Operation Harvest King (2009)

Undercover: Double Life

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STORYLINE


Mark Edward Whitacre came to public attention in 1995 when, as president of the BioProducts Division at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) based in Decatur, Illinois, he was the highest-level corporate executive in U.S. history to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whistleblower. For three years (1992–95), Whitacre acted as an informant for the FBI, which was investigating ADM for price fixing.

In apparent retaliation for his role as an informant, ADM investigated Whitacre’s activities and, upon discovering suspicious activity, requested the FBI investigate Whitacre for embezzlement. As a result of US$9.5 million in various frauds, Whitacre lost his whistleblower’s immunity, and consequently spent eight-and-a-half years in federal prison. He was released in December 2006. Whitacre is currently the chief operating officer and President of Operations at Cypress Systems, a California biotechnology firm.


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