Leaders ask Attorney General to announce formal investigation
CHICAGO – Community leaders from the Illinois Herbalife Campaign announced that another group of victims from Illinois have filed complaints with both the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claiming financial losses due to Herbalife’s deceptive business practices. In less than one year, 25 complaints have been filed with the Illinois Attorney General by individuals who have lost tens of thousands of dollars through Herbalife’s get-rich-quick scheme.
“These 25 individuals have shown great bravery for coming forward to tell their story and hope that state and federal regulators will help them and others who have been victimized by Herbalife,” said Mariela Estrada, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council’s Director of Organizing. “Herbalife has preyed on these victims with false promises of a get-rich-quick scheme that has only benefited those at the top of the pyramid.”
By opening an investigation of Herbalife this past summer, Attorney General Madigan joined other federal and state regulators in examining the business practices of Herbalife, Inc. To date, separate investigations into Herbalife are being conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the New York Attorney General.
More than 30 community and business groups are working with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council to help victims file complaints with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to investigate their claims. However, community leaders are troubled that Attorney General Madigan has not called for additional people to come forward and safely file their complaints with her office – a gesture that would help many overcome the fear of seeking help from her office.
“Now more than ever, it’s important to put an end to Herbalife’s brazenly dishonest business practices,” said Olivia Hernandez, Executive Director of Centro Comunitario Juan Diego. “We need to raise awareness of the allegations against Herbalife and share the stories of the victims filing complaints today, so we can embolden others to do the same. We would hope Attorney General Madigan would join us to help our community.”
Community leaders state that Herbalife targets Hispanic immigrants—luring them with recruitment promises of quick and significant earnings—with minimal risk. According to Herbalife’s reports, 60 percent of its distributors are Hispanic; however, more than 88 percent of distributors make $0 in payments for their investment in the company. As a result, many of them have incurred devastating financial losses and are suffering from undeserved shame and embarrassment.
If you know someone who has been victimized by Herbalife, the Illinois Herbalife Campaign asks you to call their hotline number at (855) 701-5437.