Breaking News on Confectionery & Biscuit Processing

News > Commodities

Read more breaking news



Ex Transmar cocoa execs face US criminal fraud charge

Post a comment

By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 10-Aug-2017 at 15:16 GMT2017-08-10T15:16:17Z

Cocoa commodities trader Transmar supplied big chocolate firms such as Mars and Hershey. ©iStock/iacona
Cocoa commodities trader Transmar supplied big chocolate firms such as Mars and Hershey. ©iStock/iacona

Former executives of bankrupt cocoa trader Transmar are facing fraud charges in a US federal court.

Peter G. Johnson (former president, chairman and CEO) , Peter B. Johnson (G. Johnson’s son and head of operations of European affiliate Euromar) and Thomas Reich (vp of Transmar’s finance department) were indicted on August 8 at a court in New York.

The trio is accused of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution by misrepresenting information to secure up to $400m credit with banks.

Bankruptcy filings

Transmar had over 350 customers worldwide and supplied major chocolate firms, including Mars, Hershey, Nestlé and Barry Callebaut.

The company filed for bankruptcy after its European affiliate Euromar Commodities GMBH became insolvent.

German cocoa processor Euromar filed for bankruptcy and suspended operations in August 2016 after taking a position on the London futures market that proved costly when the pound weakened after the UK’s Brexit vote.

Swiss commodity merchant ECOM agreed to buy  Euromar Commodities GmbH's factory near Berlin earlier this year, according to Reuters, subject to regulatory approval.

Transmar Commodity Group Ltd filed for bankruptcy on December 31, 2016, owing banks around $360m at the time.

Criminal fraud case

The US criminal case alleges Johnson, Johnson and Reich “schemed to misrepresent material information about Transmar’s finances, making it appear that Transmar had far more credit-eligible collateral than it actually had”.

The indictment alleges Reich – directed by Johnson and Johnson – claimed previously sold assets and fake accounts as collateral from 2014 to November 2016.

This allegedly helped family-run cocoa commodity trading company Transmar Commodity Group Ltd. secure a credit facility of between $250m to $400m.

The three men have been released on bail. They face up to 30 years in prison for each count.

Shalom D. Stone, a lawyer at Stone Conroy LLC and counsel for one defendant told this site: "Mr. Peter B. Johnson has done nothing improper or illegal. He looks forward to his day in court. He is confident that he will be exonerated."

ConfectioneryNews has contacted lawyers for the other defendants for comment and is awaiting a response.


United States of America v Peter G. Johnson, Peter B. Johnson and Thomas Reich
US District Court, Southern District of New York
Case No. 17-cr-00482.

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Key Industry Events


Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...