House Democrats to Investigate Walmart Over Bribery Story

Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:27pm

Two top House Democrats are launching an investigation into allegations that Walmart executives covered up a campaign of bribes to Mexican officials for construction permits. House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah Cummings (Md.) and House Energy and Commerce ranking member Henry Waxman (Calif.) sent a joint letter to Walmart CEO Michael Duke announcing the investigation.

They are requesting a meeting with company officials by Friday.

The inquiry is based on a New York Times article posted over the weekend alleging that Walmart executives uncovered evidence of some $24 million in bribes paid to Mexican officials to grease the wheels of the company’s expansion in the country.

The CEO at the time, H. Lee Scott, may have obstructed the investigation, according to the article.

The article, wrote Cummings and Waxman, “raises serious questions about potential violations of United States law, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It also raises significant questions about the actions of top company officials in the United States who reportedly tried to disregard substantial evidence of abuse.”