Wal-Mart Rescinds Coughlin's Retirement Deal

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. here said on Friday it has rescinded its retirement agreement with Thomas Coughlin, the former vice chairman who left the company in March after an internal investigation into his personal expenses.

Wal-Mart said in a regulatory filing that it has now fired Coughlin retroactive to Jan. 22. The retailer cited Coughlin's "scheme" to "misappropriate corporate funds and property for his own benefit."

Coughlin said his use of corporate money and property was related to union activity for which he was obtaining reimbursement, Wal-Mart said in its filing.

The company said earlier this year it investigated the allegation of payments to union representatives and found no evidence to support that claim.

Wal-Mart didn't put a total on the stock awards and incentive payments Coughlin will lose, but media reports estimated it could be as much as $12 million.

Wal-Mart suspended Coughlin's restricted stock awards and all other retirement benefits in April.

Coughlin was with the company for more than 25 years.
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