Walmart CEOs Concealed Evidence of Foreign Bribery Scandal
Each Black Friday the TV news leads off with stories about Walmart, from the jaw-dropping discounts to the deaths by trampling. This year, we’ve been hearing about coordinated strikes, walk-outs and protests as Walmart workers have begun to resent the depths of their corporate exploitation.
But we don’t hear about the corruption probe of Walmart’s foreign expansion as multiple bribery allegations widen. Walmart is the biggest retailer in known history, employing one million US workers and making $3.63 billion in profits just in the most recent quarter.
Obviously, a business this size will hold a lot of sway in media where they are regular advertisers. Maybe that’s why we’re not hearing about a global bribery scandal which could lead to perp walks, but so far, is going acutely unreported.
Walmart knows their holiday shoppers must be insulated from bad PR. But as this progressed, their own “new” investigators found the same model for rapid expansion was used in Brazil, China and India where hundreds of stores opened and many more were in planning.
It’s not how or when Obama/Holder will react but IF
Barstow’s bombshell describes a wealth of first-hand evidence that points squarely to upper management, drunk with greed as foreign expansion boomed. But similar cases involving Tyson Foods, Halliburton and Siemens did not result in jail sentences for individuals, instead were settled via secretly negotiated fines in “deferred prosecution” agreements.
These became chic when the Bush administration was convinced by lobbyists that bad outcomes in criminal probes hurt innocent investors and employees. Walmart has given millions to lobbyists like the US Chamber of Commerce and Cato Institute in order to further weaken the FCPA, even as they are being investigated.
This conflict caught the attention of Congressional Democrats Henry Waxman and Elijah Cummings who demanded an investigation, but any action been blocked by the Republican majority led by committee chair Rep. Darrel Issa. The late Senator Arlen Specter, who ditched the GOP, fought this practice in Senate hearings, noting “fines are added to the cost of doing business … going to jail is what works to deter crime.” Waxman and Cummings also claim to have obtained documents suggesting Walmart’s foreign bribery scheme included tax evasion and money laundering but Walmart won’t answer to those rabble-rousers. Sigh.
Per the NY Times’ “Lots of Bribes, but Little Jail Time,” Walmart took note as Tyson’s top execs escaped criminal charges for bribing Mexican officials, and simply decided to sweep their own scandal under the rug. When Obama lined his incoming cabinet with Wall Street attorneys, little changed.
Thus, it is already predicted President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and a (now leaderless) SEC will let Walmart’s CEOs skate without criminal prosecution. The current administration is expected to continue to ‘sell justice‘, and our nation’s #1 employer, knowing Obama always needs to pad jobs numbers, is likely to play hardball.
We reported last April that Walmart’s goal of 20% market penetration nationwide is bad news for Main Street USA, small business owners and taxpayers. Areas that welcomed Walmart saw net job losses and lost wages as supermarkets, local shops and smaller retailers were displaced. Area profits were funnelled out as local tax bases got drained by the millions to provide healthcare and welfare checks for Walmart worker families.
Walmart is known to have coached associates to apply for government aid such as food stamps, WIC or Section 8 housing subsidies. Walmart’s “poverty wages” force taxpayers to pay an extra $3.6 billion per year in welfare and Medicaid to make up the difference. Walmart takes in profits over $15 billion per year to it’s Arkansas headquarters.
NYC was able to fend off Walmart’s latest lobbying, advertising and “charity” blitz, but Chicago was breeched after Alderwoman Emma Mitts became Walmart’s latest political acquisition, saying “we” when referring to the company in a TV interview.