Today, the staff members of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California will be meeting the League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) regarding its complaint against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), a multilevel marketing company selling nutritional and weight loss products.
The meeting between the Attorney General’s staff members and the Latino civil rights group was confirmed by Nick Pacilio, spokesperson for Atty. General Harris. “We always try to accommodate requests from the public,” said Pacilio. He did refuse to comment on whether the attorney general’s office conducted an investigation against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).
LULAC asked Atty. General to investigate Herbalife
In October, LULAC urged the Attorney General Harris to investigate the “alleged predatory business practices of the multilevel marketing company.” The civil rights activist group accused Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) of exploiting vulnerable, low-income Latinos and other minorities with deceptive marketing practices.
Brent Wilkes, national executive director of LULAC, and one of those attending the meeting with the attorney general’s staff members said, “The momentum is heading in the wrong direction for Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). There’s a lot of people who have been shown the evidence, and now believe the company is defrauding hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.”
Wilkes is hoping for the attorney general to investigate whether Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is complying with a 1986 order requiring the company to track the sales of its distributors, and prohibiting it from exaggerating the health benefits of its products. The order was issued after the attorney general filed a lawsuit against the company for making false claims regarding the health benefits of its products, and for operating a pyramid scheme in 1985.
“We’ve been requesting a meeting with the California attorney general for some time. We’re really hoping that they weigh in here. The attorney general in California has a key role to play because of that existing order,” said Wilkes.
Senator urges FTC, SEC look into allegations
Democratic Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into allegations that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is a pyramid scheme.
According to the lawmaker, he heard complaints from his constituents against the business practices of the multilevel marketing company. He mentioned one family who claimed that they lost $130,000 including their retirement saving after investing in the business to sell products of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).
“There is nothing nutritional about possible pyramid schemes that promise financial benefit but result in economic ruin for vulnerable families. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) may be a purveyor of health and wellness products, but some of its distributors are suffering serious economic ill-health as a result of their involvement in the company,” said Sen. Markey.
Senator demands answers
The senator also sent a letter to Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) requesting for information regarding its business practices. Sen. Markey emphasized that the allegations that the company is a pyramid scheme has been repeated by other group. He said, “he take no position on the merits of the allegations” against the company, but he wants answers to his questions about its business practices.
Herbalife responds to senator’s call for answers
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) said it is looking forward to introduce the company to Sen. Markey and to address his concerns at his earliest convenience.