Delta & Pine settles with SEC on foreign payments

WASHINGTON, July 26 Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:15pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) - Delta & Pine Co. and a subsidiary have agreed to pay $300,000 to settle charges that the unit paid Turkish officials to get documents needed to operate its business in Turkey, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.

The SEC said top cotton seed producer Delta & Pine, which has since been acquired by Monsanto Co. (MON.N), through its subsidiary Turk Deltapine Inc. made payments of about $43,000 from 2001 through 2006 to officials of the Turkish Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

A Monsanto spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Delta & Pine and Turk Deltapine settled with the SEC without admitting or denying the charges.

The SEC said the payments violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It also said Delta & Pine failed to keep accurate books and records in connection with the improper payments. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski)

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