Coke Probe Comes To An End

    April 18, 2005

The Justice Department has ended a two-year investigation into accounting irregularity allegations at the Coca-Cola Co.

No action was taken against Coca-cola who also reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over japanese business practices.

Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, today issued the following statement:

“We are pleased that today’s settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the decision by the Department of Justice to close its investigation, mark an end to the U.S. government inquiries initiated in 2003.”

According to an Associated Press article,

“The Justice Department probe involved allegations raised in a 2003 lawsuit filed by former Coke manager Matthew Whitley, who claimed he was fired in retaliation for reporting to senior management allegations of fraud and accounting irregularities.

Among other things, Whitley alleged that Coke rigged a marketing test at Burger King restaurants in 2000 and made false or misleading statements or omissions in connection with the reporting of sales volume.”

The allegations were denied by Coke, but the company settled Whitley’s lawsuit for $540,000.

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