Coca-Cola settles whistle-blower lawsuit
Date: 8 Oct 2003
Coca-Cola has agreed to pay $540,000 to a whistle-blower who had accused the company of punishing him for drawing attention to financial fraud and rigged marketing tests.
The suit was brought by Matthew Whitley, a former finance manager with the company, who said the company had fired him one month after contacting his superiors about the alleged frauds.
The company had previously dismissed the accusations, saying that they came from a "disgruntled employee" who had failed to win promotion. He had been laid off along with 1,000 others during restructuring.
The accusations are the subject of an investigation by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Coke has admitted that some aspects of the claims are true, although it denies others. For isntance, a rigged marketing test with Burger King, where Coke paid an intermediary to take hundreds of children to Burger King to buy frozen Coke, boosting sales and convincing the restaurant to invest considerably in the product.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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