Mark Whitacre is a high ranking executive at ADM, a corporation specialising in cereal and grain processing.
When ADM's 'Lysine' production repeatedly fails to meet production targets Whitacre is put under pressure to fix the problem. He lies to his bosses that the Lysine plant has been infected with a virus which is causing the Lysine producing bacteria to die, and claims a rival from a Japanese company is demanding $10 million to provide both a cure and reveal the ADM employee who is secretly working for a rival. When ADM call in the FBI on the grounds of corporate blackmail, Whitacre then backtracks on his industrial extortion story and reveals to the FBI that ADM is involved with other corporations in a massive price fixing scandal. And when the FBI ask him to go undercover to provide evidence the lies become bigger and bigger.
While it's not a bad film 'The Informant!' is fairly disappointing. Matt Damon does a good job as Whitacre and there are some amusing moments, but story wise it's just not that thrilling. It's a typical tale of a habitual liar who's lies eventually catch up with him. If you're looking for a film with a similar storyline try Billy Ray's 'Shattered Glass
' and 'Breach
', and Lasse Hallstrom's 'The Hoax
', all of which are far more absorbing and thrilling tales of lies and deceit.