By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Walmart Inc has agreed to pay a penalty of $138 million to settle a claim that its Brazilian unit violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to court filings.
The settlement was reached on Thursday in a federal court in Virginia.
The Justice Department launched an investigation against the retailer after a series of New York Times articles in 2012 described bribes that Walmart allegedly paid in Mexico to obtain permits to build stores there, which was a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The matter spurred a wide-reaching Justice Department investigation of Walmart employee behavior across the globe, including in Brazil, China and India.
In 2017, Walmart set aside nearly $300 million to settle charges with the U.S. government over international bribery allegations.
By August 2018, the company said it had spent about $900 million on legal fees and other costs stemming from the investigation, including a global overhaul of its internal compliance system.
In 2018, the retailer sold an 80 percent stake in its Brazilian operations to private equity firm Advent International.
Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Sarah Lynch and Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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Updated Date: Jun 21, 2019 00:07:37 IST