Quantcast
Latest Stories

New York City pension funds sue Wal-Mart

By

In this Feb. 20, 2012, file photo, customers walk into and out of a Wal-Mart store in Methuen, Mass. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 10.1 percent increase in first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates, reported Thursday, May 17, 2012. The world’s largest retailer also offered an upbeat profit outlook for the current quarter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

NEW YORK – A group of New York City pension funds is suing current and former Wal-Mart executives, saying they mishandled an alleged Mexican bribery scheme at the world’s largest retailer.

The group filed a lawsuit on Monday in court in Delaware on behalf of the company itself against the executives.

The goal in such cases, known as “derivative actions,” is to change the way a company is run. As with other derivative actions, the plaintiffs are seeking to recover any fines or other financial damages that Wal-Mart faces as a result of the violations and have the money be awarded to the company. The pension funds own 5.6 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

This is the latest of at least a dozen such lawsuits filed against Wal-Mart since the New York Times reported in late April that Wal-Mart’s Mexican unit allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to win favors. The Times said executives didn’t notify authorities even after Wal-Mart found evidence of the scheme.

“Rooting out the directors and executives responsible for the current crisis would be a first step, but Wal-Mart also needs corporate governance reforms and an independent board that will protect outside shareholders and safeguard against another breakdown of internal controls,” said Jon Liu, New York City Comptroller in a statement.

Dave Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, also issued a statement.

“We take our responsibility to our shareholders very seriously,” Tovar said. “We will review the lawsuit closely and are thoroughly investigating the issues that have been raised.”

The lawsuit names 27 current and former Wal-Mart executives including all its current board members, except one. The board roster includes CEO Mike Duke, former CEO Lee Scott and descendants of the company’s founder, Jim Walton and board Chairman Robson Walton. The exception is Marissa Mayer, vice president for local, maps and location services at Google Inc., who was elected to the board for the first time this month.

The suit also names Eduardo Castro-Wright, who is retiring this month as vice chairman but is not on the company’s board. Castro-Wright led Wal-Mart’s Mexico division at the time of the alleged bribery and when the probe began in 2005.

In early May, the New York City Pension Funds urged shareholders to vote at the company’s annual meeting on June 1 against the re-electing Duke and four other board members because of the bribery allegations in Mexico.

All members kept their seats. But Monday’s lawsuit by the New York City Pension Funds comes a week after a final shareholder tally showed discontent rising against key executives and board members, including Duke, over the bribery allegations.

All of the company’s nominees were re-elected. But the rise in votes against key leaders underscores how the bribery case could distract the world’s largest retailer as it tries to continue its sales momentum in the U.S. and overseas

Tovar reiterated on Monday that Wal-Mart is committed to a “full and independent investigation.”

“A thorough investigation will take time and we are in the early stages. It would be inappropriate for us or others to come to conclusions before the investigation is complete,” Tovar said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: bribery , Crime , New York City , Wal-Mart




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • In the know: Gigi Reyes
  • Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  • Like Passover, Easter festival of deliverance
  • How other faiths in PH observe Holy Week
  • Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • The Resurrection is also the renewal of meaning and inspiration in our life
  • Happy Easter, and cheers to the ‘new’ Manila Cathedral!
  • Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  • Left out of the decision-making by her husband and in-laws
  • How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement