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Walmart admits misuse of layaway donations from Florida native Khalil Mack

Catie Wegman
Treasure Coast Newspapers
Walton Sun

Walmart employees did not properly handle an $80,000 Christmas donation NFL player Khalil Mack's foundation made to pay off layaways for customers of the store in Fort Pierce, where he was born and raised, a company spokesperson told TCPalm.

The store's layaways totaled only $60,000 when the Mack foundation made its $80,000 donation. A Walmart spokesperson said the foundation knew and was OK with the employees being included in the donation, despite a Chicago TV station reporting that Mack himself was unaware of the controversy.

An employee at the Fort Pierce location was allegedly left out of the cut and reported the incident to corporate, prompting an investigation.

"We have determined the store did not handle the transaction in keeping with Walmart's guidelines and have taken corrective action," company spokesperson Delia Garcia said Thursday.

On Tuesday, she said the company was never investigating how the remaining $20,000 was spent, because it was all used toward layaway debt and the foundation was aware store associates would be included. Walmart did find that the "transaction" of the donation was flawed, though Garcia would not provide any more details.

Walmart would not say whether any employees were disciplined or, if so, how. The employees and managers allegedly involved were suspended pending the investigation, Fox 32 in Chicago reported.

Garcia would not say how many employees benefited, whether managers were among them or how many managers were involved.

The foundation's donation covered over 300 customer layaway accounts, said Mathias Libardi, manager of the Fort Pierce store at 5100 Okeechobee Road.

The foundation did not respond to TCPalm's email seeking comment and there's no phone number listed on its website.

Mack, a Chicago Bears outside linebacker, graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in 2009.

Catie Wegman is a TCPalm community reporter. Have a question you want answered? She can be reached by email at catie.wegman@tcpalm.com, or you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Catie_Wegman and Facebook @catiewegman1.

This story originally published to floridatoday.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.