A lawsuit filed by Walmart workers alleges the retail giant stole $1.5 billion in wages and benefits and a slew of other expenses in an effort to win the support of employees and shareholders.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleges that the company’s chief financial officer and chief financial officers-elect used Walmart’s headquarters as a meeting place for discussions and meetings about the company.
The company denies any wrongdoing.
The lawsuit alleges that Walmart, through its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Financial Officers-elect, sought to get employees and Walmart shareholders to agree to “substantially” raise the company by $2 billion.
The company said it paid employees, and Walmart said it would not pay them.
In response to the allegations, Walmart said in a statement, “Walmart and its Chief Executive Officer have not engaged in or facilitated any improper conduct and have been cooperative with the Office of Special Counsel.”
The company has denied the allegations and said it is reviewing the suit.
Walmart says it plans to respond to the suit in a court filing later this month.
Walter E. Schmitz, a partner at Schmit, said that although it is possible the lawsuit is about money, it is not likely.
Schmitz said that the lawsuit alleges a variety of claims.
The court filing does not list specific figures for the amount of money that was allegedly stolen.
The plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the New York Civil Liberties Federation.
Wal-Mart has been accused of stealing money from workers and shareholders for decades.
The union and other groups have been pushing for the company to pay back some of the millions of dollars stolen.
Walton is seeking to recover more than $8 billion, but the case has so far been thrown out by the court.
Walman has been under intense scrutiny in recent months, following allegations that some of its employees were cheated on wages.
A U.K.-based labor group called Paycheck Fairness said Walmart owed workers more than half a billion dollars in back wages.
WalMart and other retailers have also faced accusations that they have engaged in wage theft.
A New York-based law firm has alleged that the giant has been systematically defrauding its suppliers and employees.