Wal-Mart's Costs Connected To Mexican Bribery Case Reach $400M

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 12:00 am  

Allegations that Wal-Mart’s Mexican division paid brides are at the center of lawsuits that are making their way through the courts.

Emerson, the attorney in the federal court case, said it could take another year to get a ruling from the high court in Delaware. And then it might take another year after that to get the case through the court system.

Costs

As the cases and investigations drag on, Wal-Mart’s costs are rising.

It said it spent $157 million during the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, 2013, in connection with FCPA matters. And through the first three quarters of this year, the company spent another $224 million. Of that amount, $135 million was for the “ongoing inquiries and investigations,” according to its SEC filings. The rest of the money went for global compliance programs and organizational enhancements.

Wal-Mart said in its Nov. 14 earnings call, a transcript of which was posted to its website, that the company expects to spend between $75 million and $80 million on FCPA matters in its fourth quarter alone.

For its global compliance programs, Wal-Mart said on its website that it is “addressing 14 compliance subject matters” in every market, including anti-corruption, food safety, anti-money laundering, antitrust and environment. Wal-Mart also said it has hired chief compliance officers and anti-corruption directors and a staff to go with them in each market and region.

Wal-Mart “is taking a systematic approach to improve FCPA compliance in every market in which it operates, drawing on corporate best practices that will help enhance, over time, an FCPA compliance program that will make Walmart an even better company,” the company said on its website.

 

 

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