SEC staff to seek civil action against Tyson Foods



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission staff plans to seek a civil enforcement action and possible monetary penalties against Tyson Foods Inc. over benefits the company paid some executives, Tyson Foods said late Monday.
The world's largest meat producer also said its former senior chairman had repaid the company $1.5 million.
Springdale-based Tyson disclosed in March that the agency was investigating company benefit payments, and said that it was cooperating with the probe.
The notice said SEC staff would recommend the agency take enforcement action against the company, Tyson Foods said.
The staff alleges that company proxy statements for fiscal years 1997 through 2003 did not fully describe or disclose about $1.7 million in perquisites enjoyed by former senior chairman Don Tyson, and the company failed to maintain adequate internal controls on the personal use of company assets and the disclosure of perquisites and personal benefits.
In the spring, the company noted in its proxy report that Tyson regularly engages in transactions with company officials and board members. It went on to list millions of dollars in business the company does with Tyson officials. Included are farm operations, an aircraft lease agreement with Tyson family members and a $5.35 million wastewater treatment agreement with an entity in which Don Tyson is a principal.

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