Litigation Release No. 21509 / April 29, 2010

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bobby J. Elkin, Jr., Baxter J. Myers, Thomas G. Reynolds, and Tommy L. Williams, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-00661 (RMU) (D.D.C.) (filed April 28, 2010)

SEC Files Anti-Bribery Charges Against Former Finance Executives and Senior Employees Of Global Tobacco Company

On April 28, 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia charging four former employees of Dimon, Inc., now Alliance One International, Inc., with violating, among other things, the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ("FCPA"). All four defendants agreed to settle the Commission's charges against them.

According to the Commission's complaint, during the period 1996 through 2004, Dimon's subsidiary in Kyrgyzstan paid more than $3 million in bribes to various Kyrgyzstan government officials to purchase Kyrgyz tobacco for resale to Dimon's largest customers. The Commission's complaint alleges that defendant Bobby J. Elkin, Jr., a former country manager for Kyrgyzstan, authorized, directed, and made these bribes in Kyrgyzstan through a bank account held under his name called the Special Account. The Commission's complaint further alleges that defendant Baxter J. Myers, a former Regional Financial Director, authorized all fund transfers from a Dimon subsidiary's bank account to the Special Account and that defendant Thomas G. Reynolds, a former Corporate Controller, formalized the accounting methodology used to record the payments made from the Special Account for purposes of Dimon's internal reporting.

In addition, the Commission's complaint alleges that, from 2000 to 2003, Dimon paid bribes of approximately $542,590 to government officials of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly in exchange for obtaining approximately $9.4 million in sales contracts. Defendant Tommy L. Williams, a former Senior Vice President of Sales, directed the sales of tobacco from Brazil and Malawi to the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly through Dimon's agent in Thailand. He authorized the payment of bribes to government officials of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly. These bribes were characterized as commissions paid to Dimon's agent in Thailand.

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, defendants Elkin, Myers, Reynolds, and Williams consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining each of them from violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, codified as Section 30A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), and aiding and abetting violations of Sections 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act. Defendants Myers and Reynolds also agreed to pay civil monetary penalties of $40,000 each.

The settlement with defendant Elkin takes into account his cooperation with the Commission's investigation.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance in this investigation from the Department of Justice, Fraud Section, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Commission's investigation is continuing.

See Also: SEC Complaint


Last modified: 4/29/2010