Sam's Club Senior Buyer Sentenced in Kickback Scheme

A senior buyer of dry goods for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Sam's Club was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation for his involvement in a kickback scheme that netted $245,800.

Mark Hoffman, 56 of Springdale, will also have to pay a $5,000 fine for the crime he committed with David Workman, 52 of Oklahoma City, who also received the same sentence Tuesday, according to a news release from Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Workman owned Mountain Falls Inc. in Cypress Gardens, Fla., and was a broker for the coffee company, Bay Area Coffee.

From 2003 to October 2007, Hoffman asked for payments from Workman in exchange for Hoffman choosing Workman’s company as a coffee supplier for Sam’s Club, the news release said. Workman’s company then supplied coffee to Sam’s Club. Workman wrote monthly checks to Hoffman from the bank account of Mountain Falls to a shell company Hoffman created.

Hoffman and Workman were indicted on Jan. 25. On April 5, they both pleaded guilty and Hoffman was ordered to repay the $245,8000.