26 Jun

Read Today’s WSJ Story About Usana Carefully…

This afternoon the Wall Street Journal ran a short piece entitled: “Probe Into Usana Officials Ends With Settlement.” Lots of people apparently got excited at this headline, and interpreted it as complete vindication for Usana Health Sciences.

Alas, nothing could be further from the truth. The SEC is still looking into the company.

This article deals with the fact that Usana’s CEO Gilbert Fuller and the board of directors “audit committee financial expert” Jerry McClaim both called themselves CPAs when they were not.

The truth is that Gil and Jerry both admitted to breaking the law, as shown in these “Cease and Desist Stipulation and Order” Documents. Gil Fuller’s specifically says:

  • Between 1996 and June 2007 Respondent represented himself as being a certified public accountant in the State of Utah on a number of annual reports and proxy statements for USANA, for which Respondent was Chief Financial Officer.
  • Respondent’s license to practice as a certified public accountant in the State of Utah expircd in 1986.
  • Respondent admits that Respondent’s conduct described above is unlawful conduct as defined in Utah Code Ann. 58- 1-50 1 (l)(a), and that said conduct provides a basis for the Division to issue an Order restraining Respondent from representing himself as a certified public
    accountant in the State of Utah pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 5 58-1 -40 l(4).

And Jerry McClain’s says:

  • Between 2004 and June 2007 Respondent represented himself as being a certified public accountant in the State of Utah on a number of annual reports and proxy statements for USANA, for which Respondent was its “audit committee financial expert”.
  • Respondent’s license to practice as a certified public accountant in the State of Utah expired in 2004.
  • Respondent admits that Respondent’s conduct described above is unlawful conduct as defined in Utah Code Ann. 58-1-501(1)(a), and that said conduct provides a basis for the Division to issue an Order restraining Respondent from representing himself as a certified public
    accountant in the State of Utah pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 5 58-1 -401(4).

The explanation by Usana for this is ridiculous. As reported by WSJ:

Usana said such representations are commonplace. By the company’s count, 11 of the largest 20 public companies in Utah incorrectly describe an official as a CPA. In a letter to Utah authorities, Usana said it had “no intent to deceive but rather to follow what we thought was the proper practice to indicate that Mr. Fuller and Mr. McClain had passed the CPA exam.”

Don’t let Usana fool you. What they did is not okay. It is “unlawful,” as they acknowledged today, and no “they did it too” excuse can undo that.

4 thoughts on “Read Today’s WSJ Story About Usana Carefully…

  1. <p>What I know is this: in 1998, my sister’s neighbors told me about how their daughter had regained her health, after prescription drugs failed to help her, when she began taking USANA products. As a Canadian school teacher (we called our school The Germ Factory), I was constantly catching whatever came along. Once I began taking the USANA products, I noticed a significant difference in my health. Colds didn’t seem to stick, and I had more energy and slept better. Was it causation or correlation? By law, we cannot make product claims. All I know is my own story, and the stories of numerous others within the company whose stories make mine sound mundane by comparison. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I can’t imagine not taking this product. </p>

  2. If you’ve seen any benefit, it’s not because it’s Usana. It’s because taking vitamins is good for you. Go to Nutrimart and save yourself about 300%. Brian will be happy to help you there!

  3. –Go to Nutrimart and save yourself about 300%.–

    Hmmm so, instead of spending, say, $10, they _pay_ me $20 and give me the vitamins? 🙂

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