NEW YORK (AP) -- The public relations nightmare for Wal-Mart amid allegations of bribery in Mexico could be the least of its worries.
The New York Times has reported that Wal-Mart covered up the findings of an internal probe and failed to notify law enforcement after the company's investigators found evidence of millions of dollars in bribes given to Mexican officials in exchange for getting building permits faster.
If Wal-Mart violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids paying bribes to foreign officials, the company could face fines of hundreds of millions of dollars. Top Wal-Mart executives could lose their jobs -- or worse, go to jail.
Wal-Mart says it had disclosed the findings to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in December and is "committed to getting to the bottom of this matter."