Walmart agreed Thursday to pay a total of $282 million to settle a U.S. bribery investigation in connection with the retailer's operations in Brazil, China and other countries.
Of that amount, the company will pay a $138 million to resolve Justice Department allegations that its Brazilian subsidiary secretly funneled more than $500,000 to an intermediary in order to secure government permits. Such payments are a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a 1977 law that bars American companies operating abroad from using bribery and other illegal methods.
Walmart also will pay more than $144 million to settle similar charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company allowed subsidiaries in the four countries to "employ third-party intermediaries who made payments to foreign government officials without reasonable assurances that they complied with the FCPA," the SEC said in a statement.
Court documents filed in Alexandria, Virginia, say the corruption occurred in 2009 and 2010, and that the subsidiary's corrupt acts caused the parent company to submit inaccurate financial records.
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