Wal-Mart Not Forthcoming in FCPA Investigation, Say Lawmakers

In the middle of an investigation into the retail giant’s alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, two congressmen have written to Mike Duke, Wal-Mart’s Chief Executive Officer, informing him that they had not yet received sufficient information from the company. Wal-Mart executives allegedly bribed officials in Mexico to promote the company’s business development across the border. The FCPA prohibits companies from paying bribes to foreign officials in order to obtain or maintain business contacts.

Wal-Mart claimed in the spring that the company was cooperating with the Justice Department and SEC investigations, but lawmakers don’t seem satisfied. According to Representatives Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman, Wal-Mart has not provided information on the retailer’s old anti-corruption policies or revised policies. According to Bloomberg News, the company has not produced requested documents and has not made employees available for questioning. Lawmakers have only been given access to outside attorneys, and that’s not good enough.

Lawmakers want access to Wal-Mart’s own internal investigation into bribery allegations and its response. The New York Times reported last spring, however, that a senior attorney for Wal-Mart was informed of FCPA violations in 2005. The company chose to covere up the violations rather than addressing the allegations of corruption.

According to lawmakers, Wal-Mart’s actions are delaying the investigation. Representatives Cummings and Waxman want Wal-Mart to produce employee witnesses immediately for a congressional briefing.


Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.

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