DoJ, SEC Walmart $282mn FCPA

On June 20, DoJ, SEC settled with Walmart for FCPA charges.

  • Walmart agreed to pay SEC about $144mn, and $138mn to DoJ, total of $282mn.
  • Failed to maintain adequate anti-corruption compliance program for about decade.
  • Subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, Mexico used third-party intermediaries (TPIs)
    who made payment to foreign government officials without compliance assurance.
  • Walmart planned to do proper compliance and training, but put the plans on hold.
  • It valued global growth and cost-cutting over compliance, said the SEC FCPA chief.

FCPA Compliance Program

  • Walmart executives discussed revising anti-corruption policy and procedures after their publication in March 2005, but did not start enhanced program until February 2007.
  • New program revised policy and procedure, new audit, training, TPI due diligence.
  • Rollout scheduled to begin two months later, and conclude in or around end 2008.
  • New policy insufficiently implemented; next compliance officer to update program.
  • In 2009, implement decentralized approach, was easier and quicker to implement.
  • Each country would be required to set own program based on Walmart standards.
  • Walmart sent 10 subsidiaries a 1-page document: global anti-corruption standard.
  • 2010 FCPA reviews in Brazil, India, Mexico showed FCPA-weakness on accounting.
  • In 2011, Walmart recognizing gaps, hired law and consulting firms to review, test.


  • Made initial self-disclosure of FCPA violations in Mexico to the SEC from November 2011.
  • Cooperated identifying relevant issues and facts, and updating SEC staff regularly.

Remedial Action

  • Walmart took remedial measures: hired a global chief ethics & compliance officer.
  • Hired dedicated global anti-corruption officer, and specialized compliance officers.
  • Conducted enhanced monthly, quarterly anti-corruption monitoring in its markets.
  • Enhanced on-site global audits of FCPA accounting controls and procedures tests.
  • New internal accounting controls, training program, terminating of TPIs involved.
  • Automated global license management system applicable to charitable donations.

DoJ Non-Prosecution Agreement

SEC Disgorgement

  • SEC not imposing a penalty due to DoJ enforcement, but requiring disgorgement.