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‘Bags of $100 Bills’ in Bribes, SEC Says

WASHINGTON (CN) - Four senior executives of Dimon Inc., which became Alliance One by merger, bribed Kyrgyzstan government officials with "bags filled with $100 bills" - more than $3 million - to get tobacco deals, the SEC claims in Federal Court.

The SEC charged Bobby Elkin Jr., Baxter Myers, Thomas Reynolds and Tommy Williams with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The bribes were paid to various Kyrgyzstan government officials, including tax officials, the SEC says.

"Elkin, Dimon's country manager, authorized, directed, and made these bribes in Kyrgyzstan through a Dimon International Kyrgyzstan bank account held under his name," says the SEC.

Reynolds was Dimon's International Controller and "formalized the accounting methodology used to record the payments ... for purposes of internal reporting by Dimon," according to the complaint.

"Elkin periodically delivered bags filled with $100 bills to a high-ranking Tameskisi official at the Tamekisi's office in Bishkek, Kyrgystan," the SEC says.

From 1996 to 2004, Elkin allegedly paid more than $2.6 million to that official.

The SEC says the Dimon officials also paid $542,590 in bribes to government officials of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly to get $9.4 million in sales contracts.

Dimon was formed in 1995 and "purchased and shipped tobacco to manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products in approximately 90 countries around the world."

Dimon became Alliance One by merger in 2005.

The SEC seeks penalties and an injunction.

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