For Immediate Release: September 15, 2016
Contact: Luis Vizcaino, 323-479-0181 or Luis@loretta.org
Loretta Sanchez calls on Kamala Harris to Take Further Legal Action Against Herbalife, Respond to Victims Complaints, Ensure Victims are Fairly Compensated under the FTC settlement
FTC’s $200 million settlement with Herbalife is the culmination of an investigation originally requested by Rep. Sanchez in 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. – Standing beside victims of Herbalife, U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez called on Attorney General Kamala Harris to respond to the complaints of hundreds of Herbalife victims, take further action against Herbalife under California law, and take action to ensure that affected Californians receive compensation from a monetary settlement that Federal Trade Commission reached with the company after probing their predatory and deceptive business practices.
In addition to investigating complaints, Sanchez joins Herbalife victims to urge Harris to roll-out an outreach campaign to help victims, many of whom are immigrants, to receive compensation from a $200 million settlement that was issued by the FTC as a result of the agency’s probe into Herbalife Limited. The probe was triggered at the request of Representative Sanchez that requested the agency to look into the company’s predatory marketing practices (a copy of the letter is attached).
“It is impossible to believe that instead of protecting consumers, Kamala Harris allowed Californians to be exploited and financially ruined,” Rep. Loretta Sanchez said. “Harris was missing in action for the past six years while thousands of families have fallen victim to this scam given Herbalife’s exaggerated earnings claims. Harris needs to take immediate action to collect civil penalties under California law where appropriate, ensure that the FTC settlement is faithfully and speedily implemented, and put an end to these predatory business practices.
“It is not clear why our complaints have fallen into deaf ears by her administration. Harris has all the legal tools to crack down on Herbalife, but instead she allowed Herbalife to willfully violate a 1986 decree which was specifically designed to end the abuses cited in the FTC complaint, against Herbalife” said Arturo Capote a current Herbalife victim. “She has also been completely silent on the FTC settlement, instead of ensuring that Herbalife victims receive the adequate compensation.”
In July 2016, The Federal Trade Commission announced that it reached a $200 million settlement with Herbalife, the largest fine ever levied by the FTC, after a two-year probe, which was requested by Rep. Sanchez in 2013. Under terms of the FTC settlement, Herbalife is required to pay $200 million in compensation to consumers who fell victim to their deceptive recruiting schemes, to restructure the way that they pay distributors and to end the deceptive practices that have caused so much harm to California.
Labor and consumer advocacy organizations, including the California Federation of Labor, and the Consumer Federation of California, have raised concerns about wage theft and labor law violations perpetrated by Herbalife in connections with these nutrition clubs.
Yet, despite these concerns from so many consumers and consumer watch-dog groups, Harris failed to lift a finger during her entire tenure as Attorney General.
Despite an increasing number of Herbalife victims and support of community groups and organized labor alike, the Attorney General has failed to take action to protect California’s consumers from predatory business practices.