Walmart may be famous for meticulously forecasting inventory needs and consumer spending as if it had a crystal ball, but when it comes to guessing how much a worldwide corruption investigation will cost, the retailer greatly misses the mark.
In fact, the probe cost Walmart nearly twice what it budgeted for the first quarter.
When Walmart released its first quarter earnings today it also provided an update on the costs of its investigation into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Bentonville, Ark. company said it spent $73 million on FCPA work in the first quarter, rather than the $40 million to $45 million it had originally forecast.
The investigation stems from allegations that executives at Walmart’s Mexico unit bribed Mexican officials to smooth the way to open stores in prime locations. The scandal came to light in a Pulitzer Prize-winning report by the New York Times in 2012.