November 19, 2012 —Wal-Mart’s joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, called Bharti Walmart, is facing its own problems with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the law that prohibits companies from paying bribes to foreign officials and requires that companies follow certain accounting practices to prevent money from being accessible for corrupt purposes. The company has asked five executives to stay away from the office for a period of time while a corruption investigation is going on.
Possible FCPA Violations Responsible for Suspension of Indian Executives?
According to The New York Times, the business community has been taken by surprise and there is speculation about the reasons for the executives’ suspensions: that something was discovered in the investigation or that Wal-Mart is striving to appear tough on corruption.
Wal-Mart claims that it has spent $35 million in its anti-corruption efforts in the last 18 months—since the news broke that Wal-Mart’s Mexico operations appeared to be bribing Mexican officials.
Whistleblowers Uncover Foreign Bribery and Corruption
The FCPA requires companies to follow certain accounting practices precisely because it can be difficult to uncover the evidence of foreign bribes. Whistleblowers, on the other hand, are often insiders who can provide authorities with evidence of FCPA violations. To encourage their offer of assistance, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) of 2010 authorizes financial awards to whistleblowers under certain circumstances.
Our attorneys at Waters & Kraus know the FCPA and they know how to work effectively with whistleblowers. Contact us or call our whistleblower attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.