By Tamera Adams

According to a recent federal court filing mentioned on, former Wal-Mart executive Julie Roehm testified that Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott purchased a large pink diamond at preferential pricing. Since Wal-Mart's ethics rules prohibit employees from receiving free goods from suppliers, the accusation could have serious consequences. After all, they did for Roehm who was given the ax in December for violating the same rule (and for indiscretions with a subordinate), according to the report.

The items Roehm allegedly received from suppliers included gifts, liquor and lavish dinners, whereas Roehm is accusing Lee of taking advantage of preferential pricing on yachts and the aforementioned diamond.

Of course, either action can lead to the dishonest practice of favoring one vendor over another. But is it more of an infraction to allow a vendor to ply you with free gifts, or to accept discounts on sizeable personal purchases?

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