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Lawsuit Claims Walmart Issued Misleading E-Commerce Results

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 16, 2018 11:58 AM

As if general counsel didn't have enough hats to wear already, the stock market cap is coming out for Walmart's in-house attorneys.

Walmart shares fell as much as 2.45 percent after news of a whistleblower suit, alleging the company "issued misleading e-commerce results." A wage dispute by warehouse workers might have been better because this lawsuit comes from the former director of business development.

Tri Huynh said he was wrongfully fired for raising concerns about the company's "overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible -- even, illegitimate ones." That's right, clean up on aisles 1 through 22.

Bad News on Wall Street

According to reports, Walmart has been racing to catch up with Amazon for the online retail market. The company invested heavily in e-commerce by acquiring Jet.com for $3.3 billion in 2016.

In 2017, Walmart said online sales grew by 50 percent. But last month, the company said those sales had slowed. That was bad news on Wall Street, and the whistleblower suit didn't help.

"Wal-Mart sacrificed and betrayed its founder's key principles of integrity and honesty, pushing those core values aside in its rush to win the e-commerce war at all costs," according to the complaint.

"In doing this, it realized it must silence any whistle-blower who spoke up against its 'win at all costs' approach."

"Win at All Costs"

Walmart spokesman Greg Hitt said the plaintiff was a "disgruntled former associate" who was laid off when the company restructured.

"We take allegations like this seriously and looked into them when they were brought to our attention," he said. "The investigation found nothing to suggest that the company acted improperly."

Walmart shares rebounded from the whistleblower news at the close of day, down .02 percent overall. The stocks are down 11.7 percent so far this year.

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