Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The President: Request

Today, Cypress Systems, a California-based biotechnology company, has announced that the promotion of Mark E. Whitacre, Ph.D. to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of Operations. It has to be a rewarding time for Dr. Whitacre, who knows something about the valleys in life. He was, after all, a whistleblower in the 1992 price fixing case involving the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company - soon to be the focus of a Warner Brothers feature film starring Matt Damon. Throughout the investigation, Whitacre worked closely with FBI agents to collect information and record conversations with both ADM executives and competitors. He also confessed that he was involved with corporate kickbacks and money laundering at ADM. As a result, Whitacre was charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering and received a ten-and-a-half year sentence in federal prison. He served just over eight before being released.

Now, attorney James B. Lieber and Dean Paisley (former FBI Supervisor of the ADM case) are campaigning to obtain a presidential pardon for Dr. Whitacre. The effort is also supported by former Special White House Counsel Chuck Colson and Minnesota Twins' legend Harmon Killebrew. Paisley says the support Whitacre has "from several current and former Department of Justice officials" is "unprecedented." See full story here. See additional background in a Fortune article here and a Business Week article here.


Anonymous said...

I am very aware of this case. The FBI agents, especially Dean Paisley, have been attempting a pardon for years, starting with a commutation petition in the year 2000 when Mark Whitacre was in prison. It has been pending since that date but the support continues to grow, and now includes a former prosecutor on that
case and all three of the FBI agents.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this information! Very good links too. President Bush should pardon this guy immediately. He was the victim of corporate retaliation for blowing the whistle on his company. Bush needs to enforce the Whistleblower Act and send the message to Corporate America that retaliation against the Whitacres of the world will no longer be tolerated.

Sandy said...

I'm from Decatur, Illinois where most of the film was shot. Everyone can't wait to see what comes out of all the hard work that was put into making it. Also after the movie people left I started reaching Mark Whitacre, and found that only a pardon for him would be the best thing this President could do before leavcing office. Everyone should read Rats In The Grain. It's another book about the case and you would see this man was unjustly punished. Good luck Mark Whitacre.

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