(US NEWS) – Walmart agreed Thursday to pay $282 million to settle civil and criminal allegations of overseas corruption, including payment through a Brazilian subsidiary of more than $500,000 to an intermediary known as a “sorceress” for her uncanny ability to make permit problems disappear.
The settlements include civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as a guilty plea by Walmart’s Brazilian subsidiary to a criminal charge filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Criminal prosecutors went after Walmart under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies operating abroad from using bribery and other illegal methods.
Walmart said the two settlements constitute a global resolution of federal investigations that stretch back to 2012 and have collectively cost the company more than $900 million.
“We’re pleased to resolve this matter,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon in a statement. “Walmart is committed to doing business the right way, and that means acting ethically everywhere we operate. We’ve enhanced our policies, procedures and systems and invested tremendous resources globally into ethics and compliance, and now have a strong Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Program.”