6 Companies that Bribed Foreign Officials and Supported Lobbying against Anti-Bribery Laws
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Wal-Mart, exposed for bribing officials in Mexico, is by no means the only major American corporation to get busted recently for payoffs. In fact, the retail giant has plenty of company when it comes to breaking the law and supporting efforts to change the very laws that were violated.
Wal-Mart officials in Mexico got into trouble after they bribed Mexican leaders to the tune of $24 million as part of their push to expand the chain. Corporate executives back in the U.S. also were marred by the controversy after they tried to cover up the scandal.
While all of this was going on, business lobbying organizations—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, of which Wal-Mart is a member—lobbied to weaken the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which outlaws bribery abroad by businesses and others.
Other members of the Chamber also have been caught bribing foreign officials. Dow Chemical had to pay $325,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2007 for FCPA violations.
The same thing happened to Shell and Halliburton, which settled with the SEC for paying off leaders in Nigeria. General Electric, another Chamber member, paid the SEC $23 million in 2010 for FCPA violations related to the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal, and yet another Chamber participant, IBM, reached a $10 million settlement with federal regulators for making improper payments to government officials in South Korea and China.
To Learn More:
Beyond Wal-Mart: Five Other Corporations That Bribed Officials Then Lobbied Against Anti-Bribery Laws (by Zaid Jilani, Republic Report)
Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle (by David Barstow, New York Times)
Halliburton to Pay $559 Million To Settle Bribery Investigation (by Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal)
Halliburton Pays Nigeria $250 Million to Drop Charges against Dick Cheney (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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