卡普兰沃克律师事务所（Kaplan & Walker）的《反海外腐败法》专家杰弗瑞•卡普兰表示，“沃尔玛公司可能会被处以巨额罚款。而对于高管将做如何处理则很难说。如果公司管理者发现贿赂行为，他们必须按照要求做一些事情，但并不是太多。”
Lawyers and FCPA experts say that Duke and other top Wal-Mart officials may have violated the law when they allegedly signed off on a flawed investigation of widespread bribery at the company's Mexican division. Also potentially damaging for Duke is that it took years for Wal-Mart officials to tell shareholders and government regulators about the potential misdeeds, long after he and other top executives allegedly knew about the reported bribes. According to an article in the New York Times this weekend, Duke found out about the alleged bribes in 2005, but company officials only reportedly informed law enforcement officials about the potential abuses in December, which was after the Times says it told the world's largest retailer the paper was looking into the matter.
The Department of Justice is reportedly conducting a criminal probe of the Wal-Mart bribery allegations. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating as well. On Monday afternoon, Democrats in the House of Representatives said they too would investigate the allegations of bribery by the retailer.
The potential charges against Wal-Mart come at a time when the Justice Department is getting more aggressive in charging top executives in bribery cases. In December, the government charged eight former Siemens officials, including a former member of the German industrial company's central executive committee, in connection with bribery charges at that company. That was the first time a board member of a large global corporation was charged with a FCPA violation. Many FCPA violations at large companies are settled without naming individuals. In the past five years, the government has brought more FCPA cases against individuals, but those have only had mixed success.
"Wal-Mart is facing potentially huge penalties," says Jeffrey Kaplan, a FCPA expert at law firm Kaplan & Walker. "It's harder to say for executives. Corporate officials are required to do something when they find out about bribery, but not that much."
Wal-Mart would be far from the only large company ensnared by bribery charges under FPCA in the past decade. The law has been around since the 1970s, but officials, aided by Sarbanes Oxley and international treaties, started more aggressively bringing cases under the act about a decade ago. Since then the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have brought about a dozen cases a year alleging bribery. A number have involved large companies. Last year, DOJ officials said they had more than 150 open investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.