A former Monsanto executive who tipped the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accounting improprieties involving the company’s top-selling Roundup product has been awarded more than $22 million from the agency’s whistleblower program, the executive’s lawyer said on Tuesday.
The award of $22,437,800 was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, according to the lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York, in a statement. It is the agency’s second largest under the program.Reuters
This arrangement might sound fair to you until you realize that the $80 million penalty comes out of the pockets of Monsanto shareholders, the victims of the fraud that the award was granted for. The $22 million goes to an executive whose own pay was likely pumped up by the fraud.
This is a drop in the bucket compared to the big problem businesses, like the banks. I don’t see boards being held accountable anytime soon. More likely would be the revising of corporate law to constrain corporate practices in particular ways; say limiting maximum compensation to some multiple of the lowest paid worker, or requiring the corporation to spend x% of gross revenues on charitable works.
Unless and until the government begins to hold executives personally liable for corporate misdeeds, those misdeeds will continue.Facebook.com/RBReich