Herbalife to pay $123 million to settle China bribery allegations

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The U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the involvement of the multilevel marketing company’s Chinese unit in an alleged decade-long scheme to bribe Chinese government officials to win business and evade regulatory scrutiny.

The bribes were intended to help Los Angeles-based Herbalife obtain direct selling licenses, reduce government scrutiny of its Chinese operations, and suppress negative coverage by state-controlled media, authorities have said.

Under the tentative settlement, Herbalife said it would enter a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, which would defer criminal prosecution of the company on charges related to a conspiracy to violate the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for three years. (https://hrbl.me/35J2Qkl)

If the company meets the terms of the agreement and submits compliance reports to the SEC, the charge would be dismissed with prejudice, Herbalife said.