From an award-winning New York Times investigative reporter comes an outrageous story of greed, corruption, and conspiracy—which left the FBI and Justice Department counting on the cooperation of one man . . .
It was one of the FBI's biggest secrets: a senior executive with America's most politically powerful corporation, Archer Daniels Midland, had become a confidential government witness, secretly recording a vast criminal conspiracy spanning five continents. Mark Whitacre, the promising golden boy of ADM, had put his career and family at risk to wear a wire and deceive his friends and colleagues. Using Whitacre and a small team of agents to tap into the secrets at ADM, the FBI discovered the company's scheme to steal millions of dollars from its own customers.
But as the FBI and federal prosecutors closed in on ADM, using stakeouts, wiretaps, and secret recordings of illegal meetings around the world, they suddenly found that everything was not all that it appeared. At the same time Whitacre was cooperating with the Feds while playing the role of loyal company man, he had his own
agenda he kept hidden from everyone around him—his wife, his lawyer, even the FBI agents who had come to trust him with the case they had put their careers on the line for. Whitacre became sucked into his own world of James Bond antics, imperiling the criminal case and creating a web of deceit that left the FBI and prosecutors uncertain where the lies stopped and the truth began.
In this gripping account unfolds one of the most captivating and bizarre tales in the history of the FBI and corporate America. Meticulously researched and richly told by New York Times senior writer Kurt Eichenwald, The Informant re-creates the drama of the story, beginning with the secret recordings, stakeouts, and interviews with suspects and witnesses to the power struggles within ADM and its board—including the high-profile chairman Dwayne Andreas, F. Ross Johnson, and Brian Mulroney—to the big-gun Washington lawyers hired by ADM and on up through the ranks of the Justice Department to FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno.
A page-turning real-life thriller that features deadpan FBI agents, crooked executives, idealistic lawyers, and shady witnesses with an addiction to intrigue, The Informant tells an important and compelling story of power and betrayal in America
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Informant|
|Release Date: 10-15-2001|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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JUNE 27, 1995-DECATUR, IL
The Country Club of Decatur loomed ahead, and Brian Shepard slowed the pace of his 1994 Dodge Dynasty. Beside him in the passenger seat, Bob Herndon sat in silence, gazing at the club through the windshield. Herndon checked his watch again, although he already knew the time, 6:00 p.m. Right on schedule.
Shepard turned onto the club's inclined driveway, heading to the parking lot as another car followed him up the hill. Passing the club on the right, the midsize sedans maneuvered into two parking spaces, out of place amid the array of Mercedes and BMWs.
Without a word, Shepard and Herndon popped open their doors and watched as Kevin Corr emerged from the second car. In an instant, Corr joined them, and the three men walked in step toward the club. Despite their differing ages and backgrounds, the three somehow looked strikingly similar. They wore short trimmed hair and dressed in dark suits with dark dress shoes. Their suit jackets fit loosely, masking the stainless steel automatic pistols that they carried.
They turned away from the small crowd milling outside near the pro shop. As expected, most every club member was there, enjoying the food and ambience of a night at the grill. The upstairs dining hall was sure to be virtually empty, a refuge for local businessmen looking for a quiet place to talk. It was perfect for the plan. Tonight there would likely be no witnesses to get in the way.
The three men headed toward the club's canopy-covered entryway. On the horizon, the sun threw a deep reddish glow across the Illinois countryside. Even here, far from the giant milling factories that dominate...