Update Report: Walmart bribery probe finds no major misconduct in Mexico
NY Times Initial Two Wal-Mart Articles Won Pulitzer Prize for Investigative
A federal probe into allegations of corruption at Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Mexico
operations has found few major offenses, and is likely to result in a much
smaller case than investigators expected, the Wall Street Journal reported,
citing people familiar with the situation.
The three-year investigation is mostly complete and the case could be
resolved with a fine and without any criminal charges, the newspaper said.
As part of the same investigation, investigators found evidence of bribery in
India, centering on widespread but relatively small payments made to local
officials there, the people said. Wal-Mart is likely to face U.S.
foreign-bribery charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over those
payments, they said.
Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Hitt declined to discuss the particulars of the
investigation, but said the company is "cooperating fully with the government in
The Justice Department launched its investigation after a pair of 2012 New
York Times articles about alleged bribes the world's largest retailer by
revenue might have paid in Mexico to obtain permits to build stores there, the
people said. Mexico is home to about 20% of Wal-Mart's roughly 11,500 locations.
The probe uncovered evidence that contradicted some of the allegations in the
New York Times articles, said people familiar with the investigation. The
five-year statute of limitations made it very unlikely that other instances of
alleged misconduct could be prosecuted, these people said. But it is still
possible, these people said, that new evidence could emerge at the final
stages of the investigation to change officials' view of the case.
Matt Purdy, the New York Times' deputy executive editor, said the stories "were
largely based on internal Wal-Mart documents that described hundreds of suspect
payments involving millions of dollars. One of those documents, written by
Wal-Mart's own investigators, concluded that there was 'reasonable suspicion' to
believe Wal-Mart de Mexico repeatedly violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act. To this day, Wal-Mart has not taken issue with the articles we published.
Instead, the company says it has spent tens of millions of dollars to improve
its compliance with anticorruption laws and it has removed several key
executives involved in the matter."
In the wake of the articles, which were awarded the
Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, Wal-Mart said in a
Mexican regulatory filing that it had removed its general counsel in Mexico, "in
the interests of the investigation," but declined to elaborate. It also says it
undertook an extensive internal probe of the bribery allegations, and has
spent more than $650 million on the probe and related compliance upgrades.
Much of the suspected bribery investigators unearthed in India involves
thousands of small payments to low-level local officials to help move goods
through customs or obtain real-estate permits. The vast majority of the
suspicious payments were less than $200, and some were as low as $5, the people
said, but when added together they totaled millions of dollars.
Because penalties under the FCPA are often connected to the amount of profit the
alleged misconduct generated, the payments in India wouldn't be likely to result
in any sizable penalty, since Wal-Mart's operations there haven't been
particularly profitable, said people familiar with the matter.
Feds Tell High Court Not to Hear Walgreens Armed Robber Appeal Based on
Warrantless Cell Tracking OK
The U.S. government has asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear the appeal of a
convicted armed robber (seven armed robbery charges, one for Walgreens) who
claimed police violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using cellphone records
to track his location, saying the Florida man lacked rights related to
Law enforcement and federal prosecutors did not err by using records from
Quartavious Davis' cellphone provider, MetroPCS, to secure his conviction on
seven armed robbery charges, even though the government gained only a court
order - not a warrant - to obtain the records, the U.S. solicitor general said
in an Oct. 7 opposition brief.
The suspects attorney argued on appeal that the cellphone tracking violated his
rights under the Fourth Amendment. An 11th Circuit panel upheld the conviction
on good-faith grounds, but found obtaining cell records without a warrant was
En banc, the appeals court reversed that finding, with the 9-2 decision holding
that police adequately met Davis' privacy interest by obtaining a court order
under the SCA for more than two months of phone records for an investigation
into a string of robberies. law360.com
Sophisticated shoplifting operations are on the rise, says B.C. retailer
Retailers in the Lower Mainland are seeing an increase in the kind of
sophisticated fencing operation revealed October 15 during a Vancouver Police
Department press conference, according to the head of loss prevention at B.C.'s
biggest drugstore chain.
Organizers of the retail theft operation used drug-addicted people to do the
actual shoplifting, police alleged, then sold the merchandise through a
convenience store located in Surrey. Police seized over $100,000 in stolen
property, including items like toothbrushes, razors and over the counter
There has been an overall increase in retail crime across Western Canada and
that the crime is becoming increasingly more organized, said Tony Hunt, general
manager of loss prevention at London Drugs. Hunt said this type of crime
increases the risk of violence towards store employees and puts public safety at
risk because products are often not stored properly before being resold.
Retailers have noticed an increase in fencing operations in the Lower Mainland,
Hunt said, noting the fake store gambit is fairly common. At times, goods have
been shipped outside of Canada to countries where there is a lot of
counterfeiting and Canadian-originated goods are more highly trusted.
"The police and in particular the Vancouver police have been very active over
the last three years in shutting down these fencing operations and holding them
accountable through either criminal charges or finding them in contravention of
their licensing," Hunt said, "because they're essentially operating a second
hand store without a proper license."
Milwaukee Buck's, John Henson accuses store of Racial Profiling
John Henson claims he was the victim of racial discrimination at a Whitefish Bay
jewelry store. In this Instagram post, the 6-foot, 11-inch center/forward said
he went to Schwanke-Kasten Jewelry, during regular business hours. To his
surprise, store employees locked the door and told him to go away. He said he
rang the doorbell twice, but did not get an answer. Shortly afterward, the Bucks
player said two Whitefish Bay police officers questioned him about his vehicle,
which was part of his endorsement deal. They asked him why he was at the store,
and he said he wanted to look at a watch. The officer then went in the back of
the store, and told the employees they could come out from the back of the
store, Henson said. "This was one of the most degrading and racially prejudice
things I've ever experienced in life and wouldn't wish this on anyone," Henson
wrote. Tom Dixon, the president of Schwanke-Kasten Jewelry, said in a statement
that he has met Henson before, and there is no excuse for how the Bucks player
cites Ashley Furniture "again" for safety violations, seeks $431,000 fine on top
of previous $1.8M fine
A federal agency has again cited Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. for
alleged safety violations at one of its Wisconsin factories, saying the
company failed to protect workers from moving machine parts.
The company is contesting another $1.8 million in proposed fines from
previous inspections at its huge factory in Arcadia, in western Wisconsin. OSHA
said, Ashley failed to put in place procedures to keep machines from
accidentally starting up while workers cleaned them, changed blades or cleared
jams. The bulk of the proposed fines are for alleged repeat violations of
the so-called lockout rule.
In a statement, Ashley called the allegations "outrageous" and said it "will
vigorously challenge" the citations. "At all times, Ashley has machine guards in
place that are provided by the manufacturer and, in some cases, the company has
gone beyond what manufacturers put in place by installing additional guards and
implementing special procedures to protect workers.
SC OSHA providing safety supplies during flood recovery
As the state begins to recover from the flooding South Carolina has experienced
in recent weeks, SC OSHA said it will provide safety supplies to emergency
workers, employers and the public to aid and promote safety. OSHA Employees
traveling around different areas of the state will stop and observe cleanup
efforts. Where people are working in potentially dangerous situations or without
necessary safety supplies, OSHA employees will educate and give safety supplies
for free. Those supplies include hearing protection, safety glasses, gloves,
dust masks, reflective vests and Tyvek coveralls.
Wicklander-Zulawski Adds New Cities to 2016
With the addition of four new cities and two additional Premier
workshops, Loss Prevention and Human Resource professionals have plenty to
choose from to sharpen interviewing skills. Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ) adds four new cities to its 2016
schedule of Interview and Interrogation workshops including Miami, Oklahoma
City, Nashville and Little Rock. WZ also added two additional Premier Workshops
for a 4-city schedule that includes Orlando, Los Angeles, Boston, and Las Vegas.
Access the 2016 calendar here. "Our enhanced 2016 schedule provides
great opportunities for learning at all skill levels in many locations,
including our three newest sites," says Shane Sturman, CFI, CPP president and
chief executive officer of WZ. "Our Premier Investigators Workshop was so
popular last year we have added two additional workshops for 2016," says Sturman.
WZ's "6 Milestones to Elite" curriculum guide was created in response to an
overwhelming number of requests for an organized way to approach professional
development specifically for interviewing. No matter what career level, whether
just starting out in the interviewing field or if you need a refresher of key
concepts, professionals will find educational value throughout the 6 Milestones
to Elite guide.
For more information, visit
dead, six injured after 74-year-old woman drives SUV into H-E-B grocery store in
A woman died when an out-of-control sport utility vehicle crashed into a
supermarket in southeast Houston where she had been shopping with her daughter
and sister. The woman, 31, was among seven people who were struck about 1:30
p.m. Monday while standing near the cash registers at the H-E-B store along the
3100 block of Woodridge near I-45 south, Houston police said. The woman, who was
pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital, has not been identified. Houston
police said the driver of the silver-colored SUV was a 74-year-old woman. She
had been parked in a handicapped space near the exit. "She put her car in
reverse and for an unknown reason accelerated at a high rate of speed," said
Kese Smith, a Houston police spokesman. The SUV raced backward, slamming through
the exit of the grocery store. The speeding SUV also knocked away a heavy
concrete ball positioned in front of the grocery store that is meant to prevent
such occurrences. Authorities said two grocery store employees were among those
injured. Later Monday, H-E-B officials said they had been released from the
hospital. The condition of the other victims wasn't immediately known. Police
said the driver of the SUV was not injured. They characterized her as
"cooperative" and said she showed no signs of intoxication or impairment. H-E-B
officials said they will turn over any store security video to Houston police,
who are conducting the fatal crash investigation.
Rite Aid celebrates re-opening of Baltimore location looted during April 27th
Rite Aid on Tuesday celebrates the grand re-opening of its store at 300 Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Baltimore Tuesday. The store has been operating out
of a temporary trailer after sustaining significant damage during the protests
that rocked the city last spring. Joining Rite Aid executive VP Bryan Everett at
the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Safeway employees, elected officials, and community leaders protested Oct. 16th
at Safeway's Collington, MD., DC against 900 jobs being cut at Christmas
Cleanup Auction Looms For 70 Unsold A&P Stores
Haggen Gets Green Light For $92M Bankruptcy Auction Plan of Nearly Three Dozen
What to Know about Predictive Scheduling - More legislation picking up steam
Survey: Most U.S. shoppers hate Black Friday
Microsoft opening five-story flagship store in NYC