Mexico's Federal Comptroller said on Thursday that sugar giant Consorcio Azucarero Escorpion (CAZE) made false statements to receive about $11.1 million in export subsidies between 1997 and 1999. CAZE, which owns nine of Mexico's 60 sugar mills and employs some 37,000 workers, is under investigation for accepting federal subsidies to export about 114,000 metric tons of sugar, and then selling it on the local market, depressing local prices. "An audit has been done that found the information to be false," Secodam spokesman Javier Esquivel told Reuters."The officials who granted the subsidies have already been fired and we are studying the possibility of filing suit (against CAZE and the fired officials) before the Federal Attorney General's Office (PGR)," he said. The sugar consortium was first publicly attacked weeks ago over allegedly sketchy exports in the 1996/97 harvest, when it received some 102.9 million pesos (about $11.1 million) in export subsidies. Newspapers said the exports never reached supposed destination points. "The CAZE sugar mills complied with the legal requirements to exercise its rights to said subsidies," the company said in a statement late on Wednesday, claiming definitive exports for the period."CAZE presented to the then Trade Ministry and the National Sugar Fund (FINA), all of the documents that in its opinion accredited its right to request the subsidies," the company said."The documents were validated by both institutions."