Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Department of Justice is investigating Seaboard Corp. about whether the food processing giant did business with people and a company on the U.S. government’s designated-terrorist list, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Seaboard, the Kansas-based firm known for its Butterball turkey brand in the United States, did not return Reuters’ calls or emails seeking comment on the media report.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said the agency does not confirm or deny whether a matter is under investigation.
The newspaper’s front-page story reported that, as part of a broad criminal probe, federal investigators are looking at whether Seaboard “tried to mask wheat-flour sales to firms linked to a Lebanese businessman and his family in the years after he and two brothers were put on the government’s terror blacklist in 2009 and 2010.”
A Treasury Department memo from 2010 said Kassim Tajideen, his brothers and business partners had financial ties to Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militant group based in Lebanon, according to the Journal’s report.
Seaboard, according to the Journal’s story, denied the allegations. The newspaper also reported that Tajideen said he had never heard of Seaboard and he denied having any ties to “any terrorist group.”
“Penalties for companies working with anyone on the list range from fines to prison under laws intended to starve terror groups of cash to carry out attacks,” according to the Journal story.
Reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay