Wal-Mart investigated, sued in Mexico bribery scandal

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest retailer in the world, is still dealing with fallout from a bribery scandal uncovered last year. A group of investors, including the California State Teachers' Retirement System, is suing the company over accusations that top executives knew about bribes to Mexican officials but tried to limit investigations into the wrongdoing. The bribes -- meant to butter up real estate power players -- and the alleged cover-up were first reported by the New York Times. Prosecutors from the U.S. and Mexico said last year that they are looking into the claims. Plaintiffs in the investor lawsuit against Wal-Mart say that officials at the Bentonville, Ark.,  mega-retailer are still concealing relevant documents in the case, allegations that the company disputes. But in May, a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled that executives must turn over more internal documents to help suss out the extent of their knowledge of the bribery scheme.
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( Sarah Meghan Lee / For The Times / January 15, 2008 )

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest retailer in the world, is still dealing with fallout from a bribery scandal uncovered last year. A group of investors, including the California State Teachers' Retirement System, is suing the company over accusations that top executives knew about bribes to Mexican officials but tried to limit investigations into the wrongdoing. The bribes -- meant to butter up real estate power players -- and the alleged cover-up were first reported by the New York Times. Prosecutors from the U.S. and Mexico said last year that they are looking into the claims. Plaintiffs in the investor lawsuit against Wal-Mart say that officials at the Bentonville, Ark., mega-retailer are still concealing relevant documents in the case, allegations that the company disputes. But in May, a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled that executives must turn over more internal documents to help suss out the extent of their knowledge of the bribery scheme.

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