Shareholder Sues Walmart Board Over Mexico Bribery Allegations

The fallout continues over WalmartMexicoGate, a term I just made up right now that will likely never be used again. A shareholder in the nation’s largest retailer has filed a lawsuit against the company’s board of directors over the bad press tied to allegations that Walmart spent millions of dollars bribing folks in Mexico.

The lawsuit, filed in Court of Chancery in Delaware, states that “illegal payments have and will continue to irreparably damage Wal-Mart’s corporate image and goodwill and jeopardize its ability to do business in foreign countries.”

Thus, the shareholder has filed the complaint on behalf of the company — as opposed to her own behalf — in the hopes of recovering damages from Walmart’s board and senior executives for Walmart.

This news comes on the heels of reports that the DOJ is investigating whether or not Walmart broke any laws — at the same time as the retailer just happened to create the position of Global Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance Officer.

Wal-Mart shareholder sues over bribery scandal [Reuters]

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  1. Cat says:

    Let me fix it for him:

    “Inability to make illegal payments will irreparably damage Wal-Mart’s ability to do business in foreign countries.”

    In many countries if you don’t pay, you don’t play.

    • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

      It’s called a grease payment and yeah, some places see it as a cost of doing business in a foreign country. The irony is, the shareholders probably made more in sales in Mexico than the “loss” from the alleged grease payment.

      Source: uhhh… my brain?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      So the right action is to not do business there, thus creating pressure by that country to “play ball.” That strategy might not work as well against powerhouse Japan, I’ll admit, but many 3rd world countries will trail in the world market if they aren’t tied into the Western world.

      • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

        Great example with Japan. People are so quick to point out corruption in 3rd world countries and the BRICs, which is true, for both at the citizen and corporate level, but often forget about Japan, which may not have the corruption at the citizen level but is known to have it at the corporate level.

        Holy run-on-confusing-sentence, Batman!

  2. vliam says:

    Silly shareholder,
    They did it to boost your share value.

    If you win, are you going to return your capital gains from their stock?

  3. bhr says:

    A random shareholder suing a company over general business practices outside of the country isn’t going to go anywhere in the courts.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Except that these business activities outside the US are a *federal crime* in the US, no matter where they’re done in the world, if that company does any business in the US.

  4. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    What a stupid shareholder.
    What the US considers a “bribe” is normal business procedure for US companies in Mexico.
    So basically the US government and this shareholder is telling Walmart they cannot conduct business in Mexico.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      If your shit-hole country’s shit-hole government can’t do business on the level, businesses in other first-world nations shouldn’t be operating there.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Permanently eliminating the competition and their leaders is also a way of doing business in Mexico. Should US executives participate?

  5. shthar says:

    I’m not sure a shareholder can sue over something that makes money for the company.

    He can get in the news tho.