Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ex-ADM Executive Hired as CEO of Biotech Firm: Mark Whitacre, the head of ADM's bioproducts unit who was fired in August, took over Oct. 1 at Future Health Technologies, a start-up company based in Chicago. He said the company also has offices in New York and China, where clinical testing is already under way for its technology. Future Health is preparing patent applications, he said, but will not discuss the technology publicly until after those applications are made. Whitacre was fired after Decatur, Ill.-based Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. accused him of embezzling $9 million. The allegation came after ADM learned he had spent three years as an informant for the Justice Department's antitrust division, which is investigating price-fixing allegations against ADM and other companies. Whitacre has denied the embezzling allegation, insisting all payments were authorized. Whitacre has agreed to plead guilty to charges relating to income tax evasion and defrauding ADM shareholders. The Justice Department has said it has no plea arrangement with Whitacre. ADM also faces other legal troubles.

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