Herbalife resolves US criminal case over alleged corruption in China

Company entered deferred prosecution agreement to resolve a charge it conspired to violate anti-bribery law

NEW YORK - Herbalife Nutrition Ltd has agreed to settle a U.S. criminal case accusing it of bribing Chinese officials, including in government agencies and media outlets, to boost its business in China.

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The multi-level marketing company, whose products include dietary supplements, entered a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve a charge it conspired to violate the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery law.

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Herbalife’s deferred prosecution agreement was disclosed by a federal prosecutor and a lawyer for the company at a hearing on Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

It was not immediately clear how much Herbalife would pay in connection with the settlement.

An Herbalife logo is shown on a poster at a clinic in the Mission District in San Francisco, California April 29, 2013. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo)

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Authorities have been investigating Herbalife’s alleged involvement in a decade-long scheme to bribe Chinese officials in order to obtain direct selling licenses, reduce government scrutiny, and suppress negative coverage by state-controlled media.

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The prosecutor said Herbalife’s alleged wrongful conduct occurred between 2007 and 2016.

Shares of Herbalife traded lower at $47.80 a share before being halted for pending news.

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