Walmart's International Bribery Probe Widens to China, Brazil and India

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Walmart China Bribery InvestigationCan a company become, and stay, the world's top retailer without cutting a few legal corners?

Walmart (WMT) announced Thursday that an internal investigation into bribery accusations, originating in Mexico, has broadened to include operations in Brazil, China and India. The disclosure came in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing tied to third-quarter financial results.

The widening inquiry was more bad news for the Arkansas-based multinational: Revenue and fourth quarter profit outlook came in lower than analysts had expected.

Walmart had already confirmed that its board's audit committee was investigating possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by its Mexican subsidiary. And the wording of this latest revelation suggests that the number of countries involved may still increase: "Inquiries or investigations regarding allegations of potential FCPA violations have been commenced in a number of foreign markets where we operate, including but not limited to Brazil, China, and India."

Citing "a person with direct knowledge of the company's internal investigation," the New York Times reports that Walmart has not yet concluded that it had in fact paid bribes in China, India and Brazil:

"But it did indicate that the company had found enough evidence to justify concern about its business practices in the three countries -- concerns that go beyond initial inquiries and that are serious enough that shareholders needed to be told."

The Times previously reported that, seven years ago, Walmart found "credible evidence that its Mexican subsidiary had paid brides in its effort to build more stores" -- obtaining permits via corruption throughout the country, the illegal payments totaling as much as $24 million. Making matters worse, top executives squashed an internal investigation, fearful of deleterious repercussions in an essential market. There were no consequences for any Walmart de Mexico executives; chief executive Eduardo Castro-Wright was actually elevated to vice chairman of Walmart in 2008.



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David

My entire family has at one time or another has worked for WalMart. When Sam was alive it was a great place to shop. Buy American....his motto. Everything changed when he passed. Now it's all about corporate profits no matter how much it hurts it's employees. They simply direct them to the nearest welfare office and tell them how to get the help they need from family and church. Sickening. The may rule here today. However, in the next life they shall not do so well,once they meet their Maker. The worst part is that most all busineeses follow their lead on how to abuse virtually every law out there. "The high cost of low price." Everyone should watch that documentary.

November 24 2012 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
j

and if you really think they didnt pay bribes in the usa to open stores then you need to get your heads out of your butts. finally they are being caught at what has been going on many many years. lol you should just see all the leasing companies they own that they lease their own buildings and land from. dont fool yourself they didnt become so big without doing something illegal. and when did this all start hmmm oh yeah when clinton was governor of arkansas.

November 21 2012 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

DON'T FORGET THE PHILIPPINES. THAT'S WHERE THEY ASK YOU TO BE A SO CALLED MYSTERY SHOPPER AND WHERE TO SEND THE BALANCE OF THE CHECK THEY SENT YOU AND ASK YOU TO TRY TO GET YOUR FRIENDS INVOLVED. OUGHT IT TO THERE ATTENTION WITH A COPY OF ALL MY DOCUMENTATIONS AND WAS GIVEN A $25 GIFT CERT. TO JUST GO AWAY. SO I DID. AND I WENT TO TARGET.

November 21 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carole Ann

I have never and never will shop at Walmart. Their business practices border on the illegal and they treat their employees like 2nd class citizens. They go into small towns, put the mom and pop shops out of business and if Walmart doesn't make a big enough profit they up and leave, making the town a depressed area. I am sure they don't care that I boycott them, but I have the satisfaction of doing just that.

November 19 2012 at 2:08 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Carole Ann's comment
SUERAM002

Right on, sister!!

November 21 2012 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Connie

Hummmm... I wonder how many politians we would have left if those who had taken bribes suddenly lost their positions. >^^<

November 19 2012 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sdeanbyrd

Wal Mart has ruled too long with their demeaning retail tactics, treatment of employees and cheating of the public safety net systems. These bribes to foreign business and government officials is against US law and Wal Mart should be punished to the max and it should be fast tracked thru the court system with results ASAP!

November 19 2012 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
banditjacknlus

In most of the world, bribery is a way of life and a cost of doing business. So buck up and enjoy your 30 percent savings on your necessities.

And what is the big deal about Black Friday. Sears, Target, K-Mart, Bust Buy, etc, etc, etc all have Thanksgiving day openings. At least their employees have a job. And probably will enjoy a better Christmas for it. My family all scattered about the country so we don't have a family dinner. But one thing I have noted, where folks go out to a restaurant for their celebratory dinner, usually degenerates into a battle royal. Scrooge, where are you when we need you.

November 19 2012 at 10:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
VMP3080

Wow. I'm so surprised!! NOT!

November 19 2012 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
monroelaw

I guess the Huff missed the illegal conduct of union thugs seeking to shut down Black Friday shopping at Wal-Mart. Maybe they can spend the holidays in jail for criminal trespass…

November 19 2012 at 6:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to monroelaw's comment
VMP3080

The Union? Based on what I just saw on the morning news it is employee's fighting that they do not want to work. Walmart wants to open it's doors for BF on the evening of Thanksgiving at 8pm and they are refusing to work stating it is the TG and they want more money and benefits. I'm not a Walmart fan because of it's employee abuses, but bad move on their part in this economy. They'll jump ship too.

November 19 2012 at 7:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mikcl1

This story is lame, just another attempt by nthe jews to bring down walmart the only ones who wont keep goughing the consumer the way these other greed stricken bastards do.

November 19 2012 at 6:33 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply