The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are apparently planning a wide spread investigation of retail operations in America to make sure your favorite stores are complying with an anti-foreign bribery law. (We realize Wal-Mart probably isn't your favorite store.)
Remember that New York Times story from April about Wal-Mart de Mexico? A quick recap: the Times story revealed Wal-Mart de Mexico spent almost $24 million in bribes to help it expand faster, and that elaborate steps were taken to cover it up. Eventually the indiscretions were reported to the DOJ, and they opened a formal investigation.
Reuters reports an unknown number of unnamed retail companies have admitted to the DOJ that they might have, maybe, potentially committed similar violations. Because it doesn't seem to be an isolated incident, the DOJ and the SEC are now considering an investigation into the entire industry. It's all very vague right now. We don't know who the companies are, or what kind of products they carry. It could be anything: clothes, electronics, or groceries. The possibilities are limitless. Just don't go for our record stores, please!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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