Walmart conducts corrupt practices probe

Dec. 9, 2011 at 7:45 AM
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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Walmart Stores Inc. said it is investigating whether some of its employees violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. law banning bribery overseas.

The world's largest retailer said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday it uncovered potential improprieties during an internal review on how it was complying with the law, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Ark., said it notified the SEC and Justice Department after discovering the potential improprieties during its third quarter ending Oct. 31.

"We are taking a deep look at our policies and procedures in every country in which we operate," Walmart spokesman David Tovar said. "As a result of information obtained in that process, we have begun an internal investigation related to compliance" with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

He declined to provide details, saying only that the potential problems were "discrete incidents in specific areas," not widespread.

Walmart said it hasn't yet estimated the potential financial liability involved. The company reported $419 billion in revenue last year.

The SEC declined to comment and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the Journal said.

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