By Jonathan Davies
The owner of Cadbury has been accused of manipulating the price of wheat.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission said that Kraft Foods and Mondelez Global earned more than $5 million after a false attempt to buy $90m worth of wheat futures.
The huge purchase led to wheat prices rising, which helped Cadbury's owner to pocket aroun $5.4m.
Aitan Goelman, the CFTC’s director of enforcement, stated: “This case goes to the core of the CFTC’s mission: protecting market participants and the public from manipulation and abusive practices that undermine the integrity of the derivatives markets. A market participant who is not happy with cash prices available to it may not resort to manipulative trading strategies in an attempt to artificially lower that price.”
In a statement, Kraft said: "The transaction at issue occurred before our spin-off from Mondelez in, and it involved the business now owned and operated by Mondelez or its affiliates.
"We do not expect this matter to have a financially material impact on Kraft.
"Mondelez will predominantly bear the costs of this matter and any monetary penalties or other payments that the CFTC may impose."
Kraft last week agreed a merger with Heinz, creating the third-largest food company in the US.