The Informant: A True Story
Review: Suzan Ryan
FORGET the coy “A true story…based on a tattle tale” cover line, this book is 100 per cent documentary. The Informant reveals, step-by-step, one of the greatest corporate anti-trust cases in American history, exposed by one of the most fascinating and despicable individuals you will ever read about.
When Dr Mark Whitacre contacted the FBI about international price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland—one of the world’s most influential and politically connected companies—nobody knew (or cared) about lysine, citric acid or corn syrup, until they realised that these elements form the basis of the majority of food products available in the modern supermarket, hence the company’s trademark, ‘Supermarket to the World’.
But Whitacre had many secrets of his own, deluding himself into believing that his life mirrored that of Mitch McDeere—the lead character in John Grisham novel The Firm—leading the FBI on a wild-goose chase of false leads, fake kidnappings, embezzled funds and doctored tapes that almost derailed one of the largest and most important court cases of the modern era.