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By Sarah N. Lynch and Tom Polansek
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Mexican unit of Cargill will pay $500,000 to settle civil charges alleging it executed illegal wash trades involving corn, soybean and wheat futures contracts, U.S. regulators said on Thursday.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said the trades in question by Cargill de México SA De CV occurred between March 2010 and August 2014 on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Kansas City Board of Trade. Both exchanges are owned by CME Group Inc.
Cargill, which is one of the world's largest privately held corporations and a top commodity trader, settled the case without admitting or denying the charges.
The purpose of the barred transactions was to transfer futures positions from one Cargill de Mexico account to another, company spokesman Mark Klein said.
"The futures orders traded opposite one another, and those types of transactions are prohibited by the Commodity Exchange Act and its regulations," he said.
The company has taken action to prevent future violations, including "additional compliance training and account restructuring," Klein said.
Cargill is among four "ABCD" companies that dominate the flow of agricultural goods around the world, competing against Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus.
In February, CME Group fined Cargill de Mexico and temporarily banned two of its traders from the exchange operator's markets over wash trades. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Sandra Maler and Meredith Mazzilli)