Members of a Latino civil rights group urged the Attorney General in the state of California to investigate Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) regarding its alleged predatory business practices.


Latino activists protest against Herbalife

“Stop the Herbal Lies,” “Making $ Off the Back of Latinos,” and “Stop Exploiting Us” are some of the messages written on the placards of the Latino activists during their protest at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday. At the same time, Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) was also conducting its Herbalife Latina Extravaganza sales event.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, were asking California state attorney general Kamala Harries and Bob Lee, district attorney of Santa Cruz, to launch an inquiry against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). They want the attorneys general to look into the marketing practices of the multilevel marketing company.

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said, “We are asking Attorney General Harris to help us protect vulnerable, low-income Latinos and other minorities from these schemes that have cost people their life savings.”

LULAC’s letter to Herbalife distributors

LULAC distributed a letter to the independent distributors of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), indicating that the success stories that are presented to them “seem too good to be true,” and informed them that 88 percent of distributors earned nothing and only 3.67 percent made more than $1,000 profit based on the company’s statement of average gross compensation paid in 2012.

In addition, the civil rights organization reminded the independent distributors regarding their right to demand changes from the management of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), such as reporting the average net income of distributors and stopping the featuring of highly unlikely rags-to-riches success stories.

The civil rights group also advised distributors to demand that Herbalife limit down line compensation to three levels deep, track and report retail sales to new recruits and the general public, stop targeting low income Latinos, stop exaggerating the health benefits of Herbalife products, and require nutrition clubs to comply with the law.

Brent Wilkes on Herbalife’s reforms

Brent Wilkes, national executive director of LULAC said, “If Herbalife’s executives refuse to implement the necessary reforms, at the very least they should stop targeting the family-oriented and trusting Latino community with their deceptive business practices.”

According to Reuters, Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson confronted the protesters and told them, “You don’t have the facts. We don’t want to hear your lies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.” LULAC regional director Randy Fox was among the protesters who heard Johnson’s statement.

Last month, a Latino organization requested that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) for its alleged “deceptive business practices and abuses.”