DECATUR, Ill. (AP) _ Three mid-level executives of Archer Daniels Midland Co. have been fired in the fallout from a federal investigation of price-fixing in the food-ingredient industry, the company's president said Thursday.

Reinhard M. Richter, president of ADM's Mexican operations, was one of the executives forced out, ADM President James R. Randall said Thursday. He refused to identify the two other fired executives, but said they were ``very minor.''

He said all three were cronies of FBI informant Mark Whitacre, a former high-ranking ADM executive who was fired in August after the price-fixing probe was revealed. ADM, which denies any wrongdoing, has accused Whitacre of diverting $9 million to a Swiss bank account.

``They are all part of the Whitacre conspiracy,'' Randall said.

Whitacre, former president of ADM's BioProducts Division, was fired and accused of theft in early August, about six weeks after federal authorities subpoenaed documents from ADM and other grain processers regarding possible anticompetitive practices in sales of high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid and lysine, a livestock feed supplement.

Whitacre, who survived a subsequent suicide attempt, has said ADM routinely rewarded executives by depositing money into overseas bank accounts in their names but used the accounts against executives who revolted.