Links to other TV interviews with the FBI along with Mark & Ginger Whitacre:
FBI goes to bat for Whitacre in ADM's hometown
Ginger Whitacre interview WAND TV on October 28, 2009
Links to other articles:
FBI Supervisor (retired) Dean Paisley and Whitacre interview in Pensacola
FBI Supervisor (retired) Dean Paisley discusses Whitacre's historical role
in Decatur paper
CNN interview with Dean Paisley (FBI) and Mark Whitacre
Behind the inside man: Mark Whitacre, talks about THE INFORMANT, his time in prison and moving forward
Source: Wear ABC 3
PENSACOLA - 15 years ago, Mark Whitacre was acting as a whistleblower for the FBI, wearing a wire to expose criminal activity at his Fortune 500 company.
Whitacre's actions are now the subject of "The Informant!," a major motion picture starring Matt Damon.
Our Greg Neumann found out that Whitacre now lives right here in Pensacola, and tonight, only on 3, he talks with him about what it was like to go undercover for real.
Mark Whitacre helped to break open the biggest price fixing case in U.S. history.
But despite that fact, his FBI handlers say he's never received the recognition he deserves.
"I told you, and you wouldn't listen! You said just the office line, Mark!"
Mark Whitacre says for nearly the entire time he was helping the FBI spy on his fellow executives at food conglomerate Archer-Daniels-Midland, he was losing control due to an undiagnosed case of bi-polar disorder.
"That involves poor judgment, especially poor judgment on financial matters. Taking 9 million dollars while working undercover, I think, is pretty good proof of that."
That's how much Whitacre embezzled from the company during that time.
As a penalty, he served almost nine years in federal prison.
"The thing is, he never got any credit for the things he did for the U.S. government and the FBI for 3 years. That was overshadowed by his other conviction."
Dean Paisley is a retired FBI agent who supervised the Archer-Daniels price fixing case.
He calls Whitacre a national hero.
"I don't think people realize, just really, truly what Mark did, for the government and the people on that."
Paisley claims if Whitacre hadn't stepped forward when he did, A-D-M may still be fixing prices to this day, driving up costs on everything from chicken to Coca-Cola.
"If you look at what he did--stealing from ADM, 9 million dollars--that was minuscule compared to the 1 billion plus that ADM stole from you and I."
Paisley and at least two other agents who worked on the case are now working to get Whitacre a presidential pardon.
"To me, their support is worth more than a pardon itself."
Whitacre's last four years in prison were spent here at Saufley Field.
He was released in 2006, and he and his wife Ginger chose to stay here.
"We really like Pensacola. My wife's a teacher here. She got Teacher of the Year in 2007, at her school."
"It does have an inspirational ending, and that's why I tell my friends. It's a messy story, but with a very good ending."
Mark Whitacre is back on his feet professionally as well.
He is the chief operations officer and president for a biotechnology company based in California, and says he's glad his informant days are over.
Greg Neumann, Channel Three News.