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Home Depot buyers accused of kickbacks

A kickback scandal involving four Home Depot buyers was reported last night by CBS News. According to the report, the purchasing managers accepted “enormous sums,” totaling millions of dollars, to ensure that certain flooring products were sold in Home Depot stores.

One source told CBS News that Frank Blake, the company’s president and CEO, immediately terminated the four employees when he learned of the arrangement. The firings took place at a meeting in an Atlanta hotel, the story said.

The FBI is reportedly investigating the allegations. Phone calls to the Atlanta FBI field office were not immediately returned.

In a prepared statement released to HCN, Home Depot confirmed the firings but said the company could not provide further details at this time.

"The Home Depot has terminated four merchandising associates for infractions of our ethical standards,” the statement said. “We're cooperating with authorities and because this matter is under investigation, we can't comment further on the specifics. It is important to note that this matter does not have a material effect on our consolidated financial conditions or results of operations. Maintaining our ethical standards is of utmost importance to The Home Depot and is something we enforce strongly."

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