Mark Whitacre is best known publicly for his whistleblower role in the mid-1990s at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) where he exposed an international price fixing conspiracy for the FBI. He wore a wire for almost three years for the FBI helping to establish one of the largest price fixing cases in USA history. The ADM case landed Mark in federal prison for fraud and tax evasion. The case is well documented in hundreds of articles and was the subject of three books. James Lieber, an experienced attorney, wrote the book titled, "Rats in the Grain" in 2000. After finishing his book about Whitacre's role in the ADM case, James Lieber became a strong supporter of Whitacre's and has been very involved with the lobbying effort for a Presidential Pardon. Kurt Eichenwald wrote the book titled, "The Informant" in 2000 which was used for the 2009 Matt Damon movie, "The Informant". A third book, "Mark Whitacre Against All Odds", was published in 2009 by Stevin Hoover which details the family story about how the Whitacre family survived against all odds.
Several former and current Department of Justice officials continue to lobby for Presidential Clemency or Presidential Pardon for Dr. Whitacre. One of the most active in the pardon process is Mr. Dean Paisley, who was twenty-five years with the FBI prior to his retirement and was the FBI supervisor of the ADM case. Mr. Paisley has contacted frequently the Pardon Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House Counsel's Office regarding clemency and pardon for Mark Whitacre. He and Mark Whitacre traveled to Washington, DC to make their case for a pardon with government lawyers. Dean Paisley feels strongly that Mark's case was minuscule as compared to the ADM price fixing case and Mr. Paisley is passionate about Mark receiving some type of recognition for his unprecedented and historic role in the ADM case. In multiple media interviews, Paisley went further in his praise of Whitacre stating that "Whitacre is a national hero".
In addition to the FBI agents and a former prosecutor assisting Mark with clemency, dozens of other professionals, including Paul Willis (Cypress’ CEO), Harmon Killebrew (Baseball Hall of Famer), Chuck Colson (former Special White House Counsel for President Nixon and Founder of Prison Fellowship), and numerous law firms that were involved with class action lawsuits against ADM, continue to assist with the Presidential Clemency process".
Furthermore, a motion picture was released by Warner Brothers about
Mark's role in the ADM case. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon
playing the role of Mark Whitacre, the feature film was released at cinemas
on September 18, 2009 and on DVD during February, 2010.
The following are several book reviews that detail Mark’s role in assisting the FBI:
Pulp Nonfiction at Archer Daniels
Supermarket for Scandal
REVIEW: RATS IN THE GRAIN
Tale of the Tapes
What is Attorney General Janet Reno trying to hide?