A whistleblower filed a lawsuit against Walmart today, alleging that the company committed fraudulent and misleading practices in order to thwart competition from Amazon and boost its stock price in the war for e-commerce sales.
The lawsuit was filed by Tri Huynh, a former Amazon employee who had worked with the company's senior leadership team reporting to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Mr. Huynh alleges that Wal-Mart "embarked on an overly-aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its E-commerce business by any means possible - even, illegitimate ones." Mr. Huynh, one of Wal-Mart's key E-commerce executives, refused to be silenced in the face of demands that he look the other way to unlawful conduct occurring with Wal-Mart's E-commerce business." According to the complaint, "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" and ignoring key financial controls in the process.
The lawsuit, filed by The deRubertis Law Firm, APC, seeks economic, emotional distress and punitive damages. Wal-Mart's stock (WMT) suffered heavy losses on immediate news of the allegations.