St. Louis-based agribusiness Monsanto Company will pay an $80 million penalty to settle charges that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings with respect to its flagship product Roundup. In addition, three accounting and sales executives will pay $135,000 collectively to settle charges against them. An SEC investigation found that Monsanto had insufficient internal controls to properly account for millions of dollars in rebates offered to retailers and distributors of Roundup after generic competition had undercut Monsanto’s prices and resulted in a significant loss of market share for the company. Monsanto booked substantial revenue resulting from sales incentivized by the rebate programs but failed to recognize all of the related program costs at the same time. Therefore, Monsanto materially misstated its consolidated earnings in corporate filings during a three-year period. Monsanto’s CEO and former CFO reimbursed the company $3,165,852 and $728,843 respectively, for cash bonuses and certain stock awards received during the period when the company committed the accounting violations. SEC
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