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Reps. Pressure Wal-Mart in Bribery Case

WASHINGTON — Top executives at Wal-Mart Stores knew of bribery allegations regarding a controversial store it built in Teotihuacan, Mexico, as far back as 2005, two U.S. Representatives here said Thursday.

U.S. Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., and Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., said they have obtained documents including memos and email correspondence from a confidential source indicating that Mike Duke, Wal-Mart’s chief executive officer, and other senior Wal-Mart executives “were personally informed about these bribery allegations on multiple occasions,” which they said contradicted the retailer’s prior claims.

Wal-Mart according to published reports said Thursday it has already provided the same documents to federal investigators.

In a letter to Duke, the representatives cited several documents, including an email from Maritza Munich, then general counsel of Wal-Mart International, to Duke and other senior Wal-Mart executives from November 2005 informing them about specific allegations relating to bribes paid to obtain permits for the Teotihuacan store, which according to a New York Times investigation was one of many stores in Mexico built behind bribes.

Wal-Mart launched its own investigation into its trade compliance practices following the publication of a Times article last year detailing bribery scandals at the Bentonville, Ark.-based company. The company said earlier this month that its investigation was continuing.

Read more: Wal-Mart Continues Bribery Investigation

Reps. Cummings and Waxman in their letter to Duke requested that Duke explain his knowledge of the Teotihuacan bribery allegations by Jan. 24. They also requested that Wal-Mart authorize Munich to brief investigators.

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