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Ex-Wal-Mart Exec Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Fort Smith, Ark., Tom Coughlin, former vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges on Tuesday, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise from the world’s largest retailer.

Coughlin, 57, faces a maximum of 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He also could be fined $1.35 million. The judge ordered a presentencing report that will take up to 14 weeks to prepare. In documents filed with the court, Coughlin specifically admitted defrauding the company to pay for the care of his hunting dogs, lease a private hunting area, upgrade his pickup truck, buy liquor and a cooler, and receive $3,100 in cash.

The former executive said his guilty plea was in the best interest of his family, friends and community.

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