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Nov. 15, 2012 The New York Times
Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its investigation into violations of a federal antibribery law had extended beyond Mexico to China, India and Brazil, some of the retailer’s most important international markets.
The disclosure, made in a regulatory filing, suggests Wal-Mart has uncovered evidence into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as the fallout continues from a bribery scheme involving the opening of stores in Mexico that was the subject of a New York Times investigation in April.
The announcement underscores the degree to which Wal-Mart recognizes that corruption may have infected its international operations, and reflects a growing alarm among the company’s internal investigators. People with knowledge of the matter described how a relatively routine compliance audit rapidly transformed into a full-blown investigation late last year — involving hundreds of lawyers and three former federal prosecutors — when the company learned that The Times was examining problems with its operations in Mexico.