Justice Department Digging Deeper in Probe of Wal-Mart Bribery Allegations
The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) investigation of alleged bribery at Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is wider and deeper than previously thought. Reuters reported that the world's largest retailer is now paying the legal bills for at least 30 executives caught up in the scandal.
“Those numbers suggest that DOJ is really digging deep,” anti-corruption lawyer Richard Cassin told Reuters. The report did not name any of the executives involved and didn't specify the cost of the legal bills.
The investigation stems from a New York Times report that alleged Wal-Mart bribed officials in Mexico to facilitate the opening of new stores. The Times article had named Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright and former chief H. Lee Scott Jr. as being involved in the scandal.
The department is also investigating allegations of wrong doing by Wal-Mart executives in Brazil, China and India. Reuters did not provide any details about the allegations against Wal-Mart in those countries.
The news of the investigation had a negative effect on Wal-Mart's stock price. The retail giant's share price fell by .55 percent, or 45 cents, in mid-day trading on Wednesday. Wal-Mart shares had risen to a new high of $81.33 on December 3.
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