ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13255 posts, RR: 16 Posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1105 times:
The NY Times has a front page article that Walmart has been involved in a major bribery scandal in Mexico and that top exeuctives, all the way up to the CEO, covered them up. Most of the illegal acts occurred from 2002 to 2006. Walmart is the largest employer in Mexico, about 20 percent of their stores are located there, and it appears they got a number of special privileges from their bribes, in the $20 Million + range. It will be interesting to see what happens as to their stock price and if any of the executives involved will face criminal charges in the USA as well as Mexico. Then again it 'is the cost of doing business'. Here is a link to this story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47128671/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times/
AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6699 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 918 times:
Quoting kaitak (Reply 2): Sounds like this behaviour, if proven, would fall under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
It really depends on what the bribes were for. If they were to get things that normally would be off limits to them or any other their competitors, they have violated that act and will be in trouble. Just as well if those bribes provided an unfair competitive advantage to them that was rendered unavailable to others.
If the bribes were "only to accelerate paperwork" whose result would be the same with said bribe or not, then that is allowed.
ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13255 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 877 times:
The big problem here is not so much the actual bribery, but the cover up by top executives at HQ in Bentonville, AR, USA for years of the Mexico subsidiary either allowed or intentionally ignored. Often the crime is bad enough, but it is the cover up that gets you nailed and in jail.
Apparently the bribes were paid to secure permits for store sites, probably to local and state government officials who have the power over granting them, to choose Walmart vs. a Mexico or elsewhere based competitor, get water, sewer access. The bribes could have been paid to keep out workers unions or buy peace from local police from the police themselves. The Mexico ops of Walmart is huge, including about 20% of the stores Walmart has, so $20+ million could be a relative tiny investment that means billions in profits to shareholders, bigger paychecks for executives in Mexico and the USA.
I wonder if this has come out because of the various lawsuits against Walmart in the USA for labor violations and emplolyment discrimiination as well as growing anti-Walmart attitudes by labor and social groups trying to get something on them and finally got a big one. Perhaps too some executive or ex-executive are spilling the story out, trying to cover their butt by making a deal for these crimes to stay out of jail. There may have been a US DOJ investigation already or if not, one will be starting very soon.