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Wal-Mart's Alleged Trifecta: Bribery, Money Laundering, Tax Evasion

August 15th, 2012

This spring, reports surfaced that Wal-Mart’s┬áMexico arm may have engaged in widespread bribery in order to rapidly increase its presence in Mexico. Even immediately after the initial New York Times story, the company itself hinted that a thorough investigation may turn up even more.

Well, we might be seeing the first bits of that deeper scandal emerge right now. Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman have been investigating Wal-Mart over the past few months. Reuters reports,

“We have obtained internal company documents, including internal audit reports, from other sources suggesting that Wal-Mart may have had compliance issues relating not only to bribery, but also to ‘questionable financial behavior’ including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Wal-Mart Chief Executive Michael Duke.

A company spokesman had no immediate comment.

Unfortunately, the probe has hit a brick wall. Reuters continues,

The two Democrats complained on Tuesday that Wal-Mart has been uncooperative with the congressional probe.

They gave the company one last chance to turn over documents and give them access to witnesses before they release an investigative report.

Wal-Mart has provided them with several briefings on its anti-corruption compliance program, but has declined to provide details of investigation because it is still ongoing.

The Congressmen have given Wal-Mart one final ultimatum to cooperate, before there are, ‘potential remedial actions,’ undertaken.

 

Written by EJ Fagan

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