On October 26, 2018, superstore Walmart Inc. agreed to a $160 million settlement to end an investor class suit in federal court in the western district of Arkansas.
The suit was initially filed in May 2012, in federal court in the Middle District of Tennessee and was transferred to Arkansas federal court in July 2012, by lead plaintiff, City of Pontiac General Employees’ Retirement System (“PGERS”). In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Walmart violated several federal securities laws including §10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, when it issued materially false and misleading financial statement to its investors.
Specifically, Walmart executives are accused of taking part in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme with Walmart de Mexico to obtain Mexican building permits in order to hasten the growth of Walmart in Mexico. As a result of Walmart’s false statements, plaintiffs argue, company stock rose to artificially high prices. Walmart’s actions were finally fully revealed to both the public and stockholders by a New York Times exposé on April 21, 2012.
The settlement includes not only the $160,000,000 cash payment but also a stipulation that Walmart makes no admission of wrongdoing.
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