Indictment looms for ADM, 2 executives But settlement could avert charges

September 13, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Federal prosecutors have informed Archer Daniels Midland Co. and two of its senior executives that they could be indicted by Tuesday on charges that they engaged in an international conspiracy to fix prices for a feed additive, people with knowledge of the inquiry said yesterday.

But by late yesterday, settlement negotiations between the government and Archer Daniels appeared to be making some progress, people with knowledge of the situation said. As a result, the government-imposed deadline could slip by as much as a week while both sides hammer out a deal.

The talks were said to involve a number of issues including whether Archer Daniels would plead to price-fixing only for lysine, the feed additive, or for other food products as well. Still, the talks were said to be in a fluid and delicate state.

Terms of a possible settlement could not be determined. Aubrey Daniel III, a lawyer for Archer Daniels, did not return a telephone call. Scott Lassar, the chief prosecutor in the case, and a justice department spokeswoman both declined to comment.

The two executives who face indictment -- Michael Andreas, the company's vice chairman, and Terrance Wilson, the head of its corn-processing division -- have made no offers to settle, and several people involved in the case said they expected the men would take the case to court.

Andreas, Wilson and their lawyers did not return telephone calls.

Pub Date: 9/13/96

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