Former Wal-Mart exec Coughlin pleads guilty to federal charges

Published: Jan. 31, 2006 at 4:42 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2006 at 5:40 AM EST
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(Fort Smith, Arkansas-AP) January 31, 2006 - The former number-two man at Wal-Mart has pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.

Tom Coughlin, the one-time vice chairman who was a protege of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, could get up to 28 years in prison.

Wal-Mart had accused Coughlin of spending up to $500,000 in company money on hunting trips for himself, luxury goods and other items. After taking a closer look at his spending, the company handed the matter to federal prosecutors.

Coughlin made no statement at Tuesday's hearing other than to acknowledge his guilty pleas to the judge.

Posted 11:41am by Bryce Mursch