Class Action Allowed in Walmart Mexican Bribery Case
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According to Forbes, the Walton family is the richest family in America, with seven family members worth a combined $130 billion.
Their wealth is derived from their superstore chain, Walmart– and from unethical business practices such as the bribing of Mexican officials and keeping the issue to themselves for several years until the April 2012 New York Times revealed the bribery scheme– the internal knowledge of which had originated in 2005:
The Times obtained hundreds of internal company documents tracing the evolution of Wal-Mart’s 2005 Mexico investigation. The documents show Wal-Mart’s leadership immediately recognized the seriousness of the allegations. Working in secrecy, a small group of executives, including several current members of Wal-Mart’s senior management, kept close tabs on the inquiry. …The Times examination included more than 15 hours of interviews with the former executive, Sergio Cicero Zapata, who resigned from Wal-Mart de Mexico in 2004 after nearly a decade in the company’s real estate department.In the interviews, Mr. Cicero recounted how he had helped organize years of payoffs. He described personally dispatching two trusted outside lawyers to deliver envelopes of cash to government officials. They targeted mayors and city council members, obscure urban planners, low-level bureaucrats who issued permits — anyone with the power to thwart Wal-Mart’s growth. The bribes, he said, bought zoning approvals, reductions in environmental impact fees and the allegiance of neighborhood leaders.He called it working “the dark side of the moon.”The Times also reviewed thousands of government documents related to permit requests for stores across Mexico. The examination found many instances where permits were given within weeks or even days of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s payments to the two lawyers. Again and again, The Times found, legal and bureaucratic obstacles melted away after payments were made.
Not only did bribery benefit the Waltons with their Mexico operations; by keeping the bribery issues a secret for years, the Waltons were able for those years to inflate the Class Action Allowed in Walmart Mexican Bribery Case | deutsch29: