Kraft Heinz, Mondelēz agree to pay $16 million fine for grain trading
Mondelēz International and Kraft Heinz have reached a settlement with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that was approved by a federal judge to pay a $16 million fine to resolve grain futures manipulation case.
The CFTC complaint, filed in 2015, charges that Mondelēz and Kraft Foods drove down grain prices by buying a six months supply of futures contracts for grain that they never had any intention of actually buying.
This manipulation ended up earning the two companies $5.4 million in illicit profits, according to the CFTC. The fine represents about three times that amount.
Aitan Goelman, the CFTC’s director of enforcement, emphasized that a market participant who is not happy with cash prices available to it may not resort to manipulative trading strategies in an attempt to artificially lower that price.