Walmart disclosed in an earnings call this week that its costs for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have well surpassed the half-billion dollar mark, reaching a whopping $675 million.
As Compliance Week previously reported, the FCPA investigation resulted from allegations that executives at Walmart’s Mexico unit bribed Mexican officials to smooth the way to open stores in prime locations. The scandal came to light in a Pulitzer Prize-winning report by the New York Times in 2012.
The cost of the investigation continues to pile up fast. In fiscal year 2015, Walmart shelled out $173 million for compliance enhancements and investigation costs for possible violations of the FCPA, in addition to the $439 million in total costs for fiscal year 2013 ($157 million) and fiscal year 2014 ($282 million).
Most recently, the company disclosed in an Aug. 18 earnings call that it spent $30 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, in addition to the $33 million it spent in the first quarter. Of the $63 million in total FCPA-related expenses in fiscal year 2016, most of the expenses ($48 million) went toward the ongoing inquiries and investigations, while $15 million went toward the company’s global compliance program and organizational enhancements, Walmart said.
Last year, FCPA and compliance-related costs were $53 million in the first quarter, and $43 million in the second quarter. Walmart said it expects its FCPA-related expenses for the full year to range between $130 million and $150 million.