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Press Release: The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald

October 7th, 2009

THE INFORMANT

A TRUE STORY

BY KURT EICHENWALD

Now a major motion picture from Warner Bros., starring Academy Award-winner Matt Damon and directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, set for nationwide theatrical release on September 18, 2009.

*Ranked as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek and the Book-of-the-Month Club*

“Ranks with A Civil Action as one of the best nonfiction books of the last decade.”
New York Times Book Review

“The thriller of the year—and it’s all true.”
Dallas Morning News

“Gripping. . . THE INFORMANT is a remarkable work and a compelling read. . . You will race through it in anger and astonishment. . . It’s hard to imagine that this story could have had a more thorough chronicler than Eichenwald. . . The intensity of the reportage seems at times almost superhuman.”
Newsday

“One of the most compelling business narratives since Barbarians at the Gate.”
BusinessWeek

“THE INFORMANT is a remarkable, fascinating, and fast-paced book…a tangled tale worthy of John Le Carré…one of the most intriguing—and nearly unbelievable—nonfiction books in recent memory.”
Oregonian

“The book reads like John Grisham on acid and once begun, you can’t put it down.”
Liz Smith

“A real page-turner.”
—Ira Glass, host, This American Life

“Gripping…brilliantly reported…a twisted tale full of object lessons for anyone who seeks “the Truth.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A jaw-dropping reconstruction of crime and white-collar corruption…
[Eichenwald] is one of the finest journalists around.”
Boston Globe

In his critically acclaimed and spell-binding real-life thriller THE INFORMANT: A TRUE STORY, award-winning investigative reporter and bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald blew the lid off one of the most bizarre cases in the history of the FBI and corporate America — the incredible story of the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower in American history.

On August 17, 2009, Broadway Books is publishing a movie tie-in edition of Eichenwald’s now-classic book to coincide with the release by Warner Bros. of a major motion picture based on Eichenwald’s book, starring Academy Award winner Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, the “Bourne” movies) as Marc Whitacre, and directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Thirteen). The movie, titled THE INFORMANT, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11 and is scheduled for nationwide release on Friday, September 18.

In his book, Eichenwald tells the outrageously true story of greed, corruption, and conspiracy that left the FBI and Justice Department counting on the cooperation of one man. It was one of the FBI’s biggest secrets: a senior executive with Archer Daniels Midland—America’s most politically powerful corporation—had become a confidential government witness, secretly recording a vast conspiracy spanning five continents. Marc Whitacre, the promising golden boy of ADM, had put his career and family at risk to wear a wire and deceive his friends and colleagues. Using Whitacre and a small team of agents to tap into the secrets at ADM, the FBI discovered the company’s scheme to steal millions of dollars from its own customers.

It looked like an easy case, destined for the annals of FBI crime-busting legends. But as the FBI and federal prosecutors closed in on ADM, using stakeouts, wiretaps, and secret recordings of illegal meetings around the world, they suddenly found that everything was not all that it appeared. While Whitacre was cooperating with the feds, playing the role of loyal company man, he had his own agenda that he kept hidden from everyone around him—his wife, his lawyer, even the FBI agents who had come to trust him with the case on which they had staked their careers.

THE INFORMANT is also about the “story behind the story” of the FBI’s case against ADM. Eichenwald managed what so many others failed to do. He developed a relationship with Whitacre that allowed him, for the first time, to tell the whole truth. Whitacre became sucked into his own world of James Bond antics, imperiling the criminal case and creating a web of deceit that left the FBI and prosecutors uncertain where the lies stopped and the truth began. In THE INFORMANT, Eichenwald separates insidiously convincing fiction from even more scintillating fact, and reveals the gritty details of Whitacre’s work for the feds, and the truth about his motivations that even the FBI didn’t know.

THE INFORMANT re-creates all the drama of the FBI’s case against ADM. Eichenwald takes us inside a world of secret recordings, stakeouts, and interviews with suspects and witnesses to the power struggles within ADM and its board—including the high-profile chairman Dwayne Andreas, F. Ross Johnson, and Brian Mulroney. Watch as the big-gun Washington lawyers hired by ADM do battle with the Justice Department, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and Attorney General Janet Reno.

THE INFORMANT is a page-turning real-life thriller that features deadpan FBI agents, crooked executives, idealistic lawyers, and shady witnesses with an addiction to intrigue. And, in addition to reminding us of the malleable nature of truth, Eichenwald demonstrates that while the truth can set you free, “a corollary also holds true: Lying can leave you imprisoned—in every possible meaning of that word.”

About the Author
KURT EICHENWALD is the New York Times bestselling author of three non-fiction books. A senior writer and investigative reporter with the New York Times for more than two decades, Eichenwald has written about a range of topics, including corporate ethics and fraud, economics and corporate finance, healthcare, and Osama bin Laden’s financial network.

All of his books have been bestsellers. His first, Serpent on the Rock, about the Prudential Securities scandals, was published by Harper Collins. His second book, The Informant: A True Story, was published in 2000 by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, a division of Random House. The Informant was a finalist for a J. Anthony Lukas Prize and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award, and was deemed by the New York Times Book Review as “one of the best non-fiction books of the last decade.” The movie version of The Informant, starring Matt Damon and directed by Stephen Soderbergh, will be released in September, 2009.

His third book, Conspiracy of Fools, covered the Enron debacle and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. A film version of Conspiracy is in pre-production, with Leonardo DiCaprio slated for the lead role. The production company is DiCaprio’s Appian Way.

Mr. Eichenwald is currently completing his fourth book, a narrative non-fiction depiction of the War on Terror, from 2001 through 2008. The product of four years of reporting, the book will take readers into the inner sanctums of the White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, al Qaeda, Guantanamo, secret prisons and foreign intelligence services. It is scheduled to be published in 2010.

Mr. Eichenwald is also a co-author of several books published with the New York Times, including The New Rules of Personal Investing, The New York Times Book of New York and The New York Times Century of Business.
Mr. Eichenwald was a 1996 winner of the George Polk Awards for excellence in journalism for his articles about deficiencies in the American system of dialysis care. In 1998, he won a Polk Award again for a series of articles about allegations of corruption at the nation’s largest private hospital chain, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation. That same year, he was selected for the New York Times’s prestigious Senior Writer program.

In 2000, he was finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles about how business interests were influencing the system for medical clinical trials. He was also a finalist for a Pulitzer for his work covering the corporate scandals of recent years, including the debacles at Enron, WorldCom and Arthur Andersen. Mr. Eichenwald lives in Dallas with his wife and three children.

About the Book

THE INFORMANT: A TRUE STORY
by Kurt Eichenwald

Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date: August 11, 2009
$17.00; Trade Paperback Reprint
ISBN: 978-0-7679-3125-0
www.broadwaybooks.com
www.informantbook.com

For more information about THE INFORMANT, or to arrange an interview with Kurt Eichenwald, contact Rachel Rokicki at 212.782.8455

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