White Collar Crime by Domenick Lazzara

“On April 21, 2012, the New York Times reported that in September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico, describing how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance.  In a rush to build stores, the company had allegedly paid bribes to obtain permits across the country. Upon information, Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City. Within days, the investigators uncovered evidence of widespread bribery, including a paper trail of hundreds of suspected payments in excess of $24 million in total.  In addition, investigators found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives knew about the payments and had taken steps to conceal such payments from company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Wal-Mart’s lead investigator summed up his findings, saying “[t]here is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated. ” He further recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation, advice not heeded by executives. It was not until the New York Times began their own examination that it was uncovered that Wal-Mart, instead of proceeding with an investigation, shut it down altogether. Worse, American and Mexican law enforcement officials were never notified and none of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s executives were disciplined. On the contrary, the person alleged to have spear-headed the bribery campaign and subsequent cover up, Eduardo Castro-Wright, was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008.”  Read More