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Roundup of FCPA Developments

Roundup

Checking In on Wal-Mart

It’s always a best practice not to believe everything in a newspaper which cites to unnamed sources, but in any event the Wall Street Journal reports:

“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. tried and failed to settle a foreign-bribery probe that has stretched for five years and cost the company more than $820 million, according to people familiar with the federal investigation.

In the final weeks of the Obama administration, the world’s largest retailer and U.S. officials weren’t able to agree on a deal before Donald Trump’s inauguration, people familiar with the matter said. “Wal-Mart and the government are very far apart in terms of a settlement,’’ one of the people said Thursday.”

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Checking In On Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart

In its recent 3Q FY2017 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $29 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($24 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $5 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q3 expenses of $29 million are slightly higher than the Q2 expenses of $28 million.

Doing the math, Wal-Mart’s 3Q FCPA and compliance-related costs is approximately $465,000 per working day.

Over the past approximate 4.5 years, I have tracked Wal-Mart’s quarterly disclosed pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses.

While some pundits have ridiculed me for doing so, it quickly caught on as the popular thing to do.

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Public Citizen’s Sophomoric Wal-Mart Letter

public citizen

Recently, Public Citizen (a non-profit organization which bills itself as “serv[ing] as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital”) released this letter about Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny and sent to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

The sophomoric letter invokes almost exclusively the writings of a non-lawyer journalist from the New York Times (who reported on Wal-Mart issues in 2012, but has since not written another article about Wal-Mart) and calls for “vigorous prosecution of both the companies and individuals involved in the alleged bribery and cover-up.”

Substantively, the sophomoric letter is about two pages long and in those short two pages the general qualifier – if the New York Times article is accurate – is invoked nearly ten times.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alerts and updates, ripples, difficult business conditions, resource alerts, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

Wal-Mart

Bloomberg reports:

“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is butting heads with the U.S. government over how to wrap up a long-running foreign corruption investigation. Officials have proposed that the world’s biggest retailer pay at least $600 million to resolve probes by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether it bribed government officials in markets from Mexico to India and China, according to three people familiar with the matter. The retailer has rebuffed the government’s request, two of them said.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Checking in on Wal-Mart, DOJ “declinations,” another installment of as we say not as we do, scrutiny alerts, and cashing in. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Wal-Mart

In its recent 2Q FY2017 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $28 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($23 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $5 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q2 expenses of $28 million are higher than the Q1 expenses of $25 million.

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