Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores has coughed up more than $439 million in legal fees over the past two years to investigate bribery allegations and other potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Experts say so far this probe is one of the most expensive in U.S. history. Wal-Mart said during its February earnings call compliance costs for this year would range between $200 million and $240 million, a figure that also includes the company’s internal compliance overhaul. Last year Wal-Mart spent $282 million on FCPA legal dealings on top of the $157 million costs in 2012, the year the probe in Mexico began and was expanded to India, China and Brazil.
"While we believe that it is probable that we will incur a loss from these matters, given the ongoing nature and complexity of the review, inquiries and investigations, we cannot reasonably estimate any loss or range of loss that may arise from these matters,” Wal-Mart noted in its recent 10K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.