ADM Ordered to Release Docs on Employee

ADM Employee Alleges Superiors Ordered Action at Center of Ethanol Markets Case


By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer 



LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Archer Daniels Midland was ordered by a federal court on Tuesday to turn over documents and other communications related to the 2019 suspension of an ADM accounting employee, as part of an ongoing ethanol markets lawsuit. The employee alleged in a deposition that he was ordered by superiors to take the actions at the center of the case.


The order, handed down by the U.S. District Court for the District of Central Illinois, will require ADM to provide information related to the suspension of employee Adam Kuffel to plaintiff AOT Holding AG. Kuffel was suspended for allegedly violating the company's internal accounting policy.


AOT is one of several plaintiffs that have sued ADM, alleging the company manipulated ethanol prices, violating the Commodity Exchange Act. Specifically, AOT has alleged ADM suppressed the daily benchmark price of ethanol to benefit its short positions.


At an AOT deposition of Kuffel, he revealed he was suspended without pay by ADM in September 2019, according to the order. Kuffel said during a deposition that a superior ordered him to violate the policy.


AOT filed its complaint just prior to the suspension, according to the order.


"Specifically, Kuffel improperly transferred short ethanol hedges from a 'mark-to-market' account to a 'slotted-futures' account," the order said.


"Kuffel testified that he was acting at the direction of either Rachel Hudson or Chris Cuddy, both of whom are Kuffel's superiors at ADM. Central to plaintiff's theory of the case are the actions of Ray Bradbury and Adam Kuffel (ADM employees)."


AOT has alleged Bradbury and Kuffel, as "senior members of ADM's ethanol group" worked to artificially lower the price of ethanol derivatives. Hudson passed away recently after working for 17 years at ADM.


AOT has alleged...


... ADM argued...