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Former ADM exec pleads innocent to federal conspiracy charges

December 10, 1997

URBANA, Ill. (AP) _ A former Archer Daniels Midland Co. executive pleaded innocent to federal charges that he worked with FBI mole Mark Whitacre to steal nearly $1 million from the company.

Sidney Hulse, 43, of Marietta, Ga., was charged in an indictment last month with money laundering, conspiracy and wire fraud. He entered the plea Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bernthal, and jury selection in his trial was scheduled for Feb. 2.

Hulse is accused of conspiring with Whitacre to steal the money from early 1991 to November 1995. Whitacre was president of ADM’s BioProducts Division at the time. Hulse was the division’s vice president and reported to Whitacre.

Whitacre told the FBI about alleged price fixing and other wrongdoing at ADM in 1992. He became an undercover informant, secretly making tapes of top ADM executives but later a criminal defendant.

The company pleaded guilty in October 1996 to fixing prices of citric acid and of lysine, a livestock feed additive. ADM also agreed to pay a record $100 million fine.

On Oct. 10, Whitacre, 40, pleaded guilty to swindling ADM out of $9 million. He will be sentenced Jan. 13. Another former ADM executive, Reinhard Richter, also pleaded guilty in October to fraud charges and will be sentenced Jan. 30.

The Hulse indictment alleged Hulse and Whitacre sent fictitious bills to ADM and committed wire fraud in shuffling money between banks in Decatur, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and other locations.

The Decatur, Ill.-based agribusiness giant raised similar allegations against Hulse in a civil case.

When the indictment was returned last month, Hulse attorney Sheldon Zenner said all of Hulse’s funds were authorized by Whitacre and that Whitacre told Hulse all the payments were proper and authorized by top ADM executives.