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Wal-Mart Bribery Probe Seen as Examining Coverup Claims

As appeared in Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Financial Post

April 24, 2012

Details continue to unfold about Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s alleged Mexican bribes and possible coverup of an internal probe into these activities.

According to Kaye Scholer’s Amy Conway-Hatcher, Partner and head of the firm’s White-Collar Litigation and Investigations practice in the DC office, “The probe will probably expand beyond Mexico if the company or government unearth red flags elsewhere or if the government questions both management’s response to reports of misconduct and its current compliance program.”

“The investigation alone could cost Wal-Mart in the tens of millions of dollars or more, and that’s if it’s limited to Mexico,” Conway-Hatcher added. “The cost of a global investigation under these circumstances could rise into the hundreds of millions. This would not include penalties and fines if charges are brought.”

She concluded, “Government investigators will look at the acts of individuals to see if they can prove violations of law, how high up it went, who knew about it, who authorized it, and the extent to which there was any coverup.”

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