The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced it settled charges against the Monsanto Company (“Monsanto”) regarding its accounting practices surrounding the sale of its popular Roundup herbicide. Monsanto “agreed to pay an $80 million penalty and retain an independent compliance consultant to settle charges that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings.” Two Monsanto accounting executives and one sales executive also agreed to pay penalties to settle charges that were brought against them. The case underscores for both manufacturers and retailers that financial reporting and disclosures cases continue to be a high priority for the SEC.
The SEC’s investigation found no personal misconduct by Monsanto’s CEO or its former CFO. Nevertheless, each reimbursed the company for cash bonuses and some stock awards they received during the time when the company was committing accounting violations.
Read the SEC’s full announcement for more details on the settlement.