Wal-Mart said Friday it will pay the U.S. government $11 million to settle charges that it used illegal immigrants to clean its stores in the United States.

Wal-Mart is the world's biggest retailer, with $256 billion in sales, 1.5 million employees, and more than 5,000 stores in the United States and eight other nations.

News reports say since 1998, federal authorities have found hundreds of cases of illegal immigrants working for contractors in Wal-Marts across the country.

The company says it did not adequately check to see whether employees hired by cleaning contractors could work in the United States legally.  The company vowed to do better in the future.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.