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Forbes' top billionaires and the FCPA

Forbes magazine today released its latest ranking of America's richest people.

Larry Ellison ranked third on Forbes' list with $41 billion. Last month, his company Oracle paid $2 million to settle civil FCPA charges. The SEC said California-based Oracle kept a $2.2 million slush fund 'used to make unauthorized payments to phony vendors in India.' Oracle cooperated with the SEC and Ellison himself wasn't charged.

Members of the Walton family hold spots six through nine on Forbes' list. They're descendants of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart. They are: Christy Walton and family -- $27.9 billion, Jim Walton -- $26.8 billion, Alice Walton -- $26.3 billion, and S. Robson Walton -- $26.1 billion.

In April this year, the New York Times reported widespread alleged bribery by Wal-Mart's Mexico subsidiary and a cover-up over many years involving high level Wal-Mart executives. Wal-Mart later disclosed that the DOJ and SEC are investigating the allegations.

Sheldon Adelson, with $20 billion, dropped off Forbes' top ten list this year, down to 12th. In March, his Las Vegas Sands Corp disclosed that it had received a subpoena from the SEC requesting documents relating to its compliance with the the FCPA. It also said the DOJ is conducting a similar investigation.

*     *     *

Here's Forbes' list of America's top ten billionaires:

-- Bill Gates, $66 billion

-- Warren Buffett, $46 billion

-- Larry Ellison, $41 billion

-- Charles Koch, $31 billion

-- David Koch, $31 billion

-- Christy Walton & family, $27.9 billion

-- Jim Walton, $26.8 billion

-- Alice Walton, $26.3 billion

-- S. Robson Walton, $26.1 billion

-- Michael Bloomberg, $25 billion

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