Walmart to pay more than $282 million to settle bribery investigations

walmart storeLisa Poole / AP Images

  • Walmart has agreed to pay more than $282 million to settle bribery allegations brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice.
  • The SEC charged Walmart with "violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade as the retailer experienced rapid international growth," the SEC said in a news release.
  • Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Walmart has agreed to pay more than $282 million to settle bribery investigations brought by two US government agencies, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

The SEC charged Walmart with "violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade as the retailer experienced rapid international growth," the SEC said in a news release.

Walmart allegedly "allowed subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, and Mexico to employ third-party intermediaries who made payments to foreign government officials without reasonable assurances that they complied with the FCPA," the release said.

The retailer will pay more than $144 million to settle the SEC charges and about $138 million to resolve criminal charges by the Justice Department, according to the release.

Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Walmart valued international growth and cost-cutting over compliance," Charles Cain, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's FCPA Unit, said in a statement. "The company could have avoided many of these problems, but instead Walmart repeatedly failed to take red flags seriously and delayed the implementation of appropriate internal accounting controls."

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