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ADM CFO Vikram Luthar placed on leave amid accounting investigation

ADM CFO Vikram Luthar placed on leave amid accounting investigation

An accounting investigation is underway at Archer-Daniels-Midland and the top financial executive at the agribusiness giant has been placed on administrative leave.

The company postponed the release of its annual and quarterly financial reports that were scheduled for Tuesday and shares of the Chicago company tumbled 21% at the opening bell Monday.

Archer-Daniels-Midland said it’s working with outside counsel and the audit committee of the company board to complete an investigation of accounting practices within its nutrition business and it pulled guidance for the unit.

ADM also adjusted its earnings expectations for the year. After projecting per-share earnings of $7 for 2023 in October, the company now says it expects earnings of more than $6.90 per share.

ADM said that an investigation was initiated in response to a voluntary document request by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chief Financial Officer Vikram Luthar was placed on leave, effective immediately.

The company said late Sunday that it’s cooperating with the SEC.

“The board takes these matters very seriously,” Terry Crews, lead director, said in a prepared statement. “Pending the outcome of the investigation, the board determined that it was advisable to place Mr. Luthar on administrative leave.”

ADM named Ismael Roig as interim CFO. Roig joined Archer Daniels Midland in 2004.

ADM was the subject of a nonfiction book titled “The Informant” in 2000, and an ensuing film starring Matt Damon, about a 1990s price-fixing scheme for the the animal feed additive lysine. Three ADM executives were convicted and the company paid about $100 million in fines.