17 Oct

Article on NuSkin Fraud in China

Today Citron Research released a report on the fraud being committed in China by Nu Skin Enterprises. NuSkin is a multi-level marketing company based in Utah, and it trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NUS. This report is a follow-up to an August 2012 report in which Citron revealed its basis for alleging that Nu Skin was perpetrating fraud in China.

Citron first points out how dependent on China Nu Skin is.  In the second quarter of 2012, revenues from China were $57 million. In the second quarter of 2013, Nu Skin’s China revenue grew to $197 million. That’s a 245% increase. Without the China revenue, NuSkin’s year-over-year growth would be negative.

An expose was published in China on NuSkin. A translation of the page can be found here. The article accuses Nu Skin of running a pyramid scheme, using endless chain recruitment to bring new marks into the fraudulent business opportunity. Distributors are encouraged to buy inventory in quantities they will never sell, all to move up in the pyramid and qualify for commissions. (Incidentally, this is the same way that Mary Kay Cosmetics has been successful.) Read More

24 Jul

Citron Research: Usana Health Sciences Operating Illegally in China

usana-health-sciences-chinaAllegations of cheating in China are nothing new for Usana Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA).  In 2007, the Fraud Discovery Institute accused Usana of doing business illegally in China.  The country has very strict laws against multi-level marketing (MLM). It is strictly forbidden. Yet for years Usana has been getting around this rule by having distributors from mainland China do business through Hong Kong, where MLM is legal. When asked about the activity in Hong Kong versus China, the company has been deliberately vague.

In November 2012, Citron Research published a report on Usana’s activities in China. The report discussed law enforcement activity related to illegal MLM operations. Usana was criticized for not disclosing these material events (arrests and fines for distributors) in its SEC filings. Read More

08 Jul

Bradford Richardson, president of Shaklee International

As I predicted in this November 14 post, Bradford Richardson has gone to work for Shaklee. He left Usana Health Sciences (NASDAQ:USNA) to become Shaklee’s new president of international operations. I have a theory that once the Cheating in China information was revealed by Barry Minkow, that Usana needed someone to take the fall for the alleged illegal activities.

What better way to do that than blame the person in charge of the Asia Pacific operations. Usana was kind enough to keep Brad around long enough so he could collect his $3.1 million on the stock options he had. Read More

23 Jun

Pressing Questions for MLM Supporter Len Clements

Len Clements MLM SupporterToday I got an email from Len Clements, the multi-level marketing evangelist and career college graduate who has been a vocal supporter of Usana Health Sciences (NASDAQ:USNA).

Len Clements published five disjointed “rebuttals” to the various reports, videos, and press releases put out by Barry Minkow and Fraud Discovery Institute about Usana. These rebuttals appeared to be a great source of pride to Len Clements, but were almost completely ignored by the media. Even better, the Len Clements writings were totally ignored by Usana, the entity he was so fervently defending. Read More

04 Jan

Government Officials in China investigating Usana

FDI: China Government Issues Official Interrogation Notice on Usana Health Sciences Inc. Associate for Alleged Multi Level Marketing Activities in Nanning, the Capital City of the Guangxi Province in Mainland China

FDI also releases several new Web sites that demonstrate that Usana Health Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: USNA) is recruiting Chinese nationals for multi level marketing in down lines that are literally from Malaysia to Mexico. Read More

07 Nov

Usana’s Bradford Richardson Unloads Another $600k of Stock

Today Bradford Richardson sold $600,000 more of his Usana stock. He’s liquidating all of it. With only 400 shares of stock left, I think TerminatedRamp has this one right…. Bradford Richardson, Usana’s Executive VP of Asia Pacific is going to be the sacrificial lamb. Barry Minkow and Fraud Discovery Institute released Cheating in China last month, detailing how Usana corporate employees are knowingly and willingly violating Chinese laws against multi-level marketing.

About the only way Usana can get out of this one is to offer up a sacrificial lamb. Make Richardson the one who was responsible for it all. Get rid of him and vow to make things right in China. That’s really their only chance for survival. Read More

06 Nov

Herbalife Denies Allegations in Fraud Discovery Institute Report

Multi-level marketing company Herbalife has denied the allegations made in Barry Minkow’s report about their fraud in China with this press release:

We have confidence in our direct-selling business model, our integrity and transparency as a NYSE-listed company and the fundamentals of our business. With regard to our business in the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government thoroughly reviewed our company, our global operating model and our specific operating plan in China as part of the licensing process. We received our first direct-selling license in China in March 2007 and subsequently received an expanded license in July 2007, which further validated the legitimacy of our operating plan in China. We believe our China marketing plan is compliant with all applicable laws, as are our marketing plans and business practices worldwide. Read More

05 Nov

Press Release on Herbalife Investigation

The Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI) has just released a report corroborated by video and audio evidence indicating that Herbalife LTD (NYSE:HLF), a multi level marketing company based in Los Angeles, California, has been operating an underground multi level marketing business in China where they are only licensed to “direct sell” products. The investigation also demonstrates that the problem of recruitment in China extends to Herbalife distributor down lines in countries outside of China which taints company earnings.

“China, after much research, concluded in November of 2005 that multi level marketing would be banned in the country,” said Barry Minkow, founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute. “However, as one Herbalife employee in China stated during a taped, in-person meeting, ‘No company will make money if they perform business in accordance with the Chinese laws.’ No truer statement has ever been uttered,” said FDI’s Barry Minkow. Read More

05 Nov

Fraud Discovery Institute Issues a Report on Herbalife

Multi-level marketing company Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) is the target of the most recent investigation done by Barry Minkow and Fraud Discovery Institute. A new website, Doomed By Design has been developed, and a written report has been released. A short video clip is included, and a full documentary will be released later this year.

Herbalife is the world’s largest multi-level marketing (MLM) company. Barry Minkow and team found that the company is illegally doing business in China. Chinese laws prohibit multi-level marketing businesses from existing in China, and do not even permit their products in the country. Read More

31 Oct

Usana Insider in Charge of Asia Pacific Unloads Tons of Stock After Minkow Exposes Company for Cheating in China

Insider: Bradford Richardson, Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific

Company Bio: Bradford joined USANA in December 1997 as executive director of international development, and from 1999-2005 held the roles of vice president of international development and vice president of international. In January 2006, he was appointed executive vice president of Asia Pacific, and currently has profit & loss responsibility for USANA’s operations in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Bradford is responsible for the definition and execution of USANA’s international expansion strategy. Read More