Commentary on fraud, scams, scandals, and court cases.

Irresponsible reporting about Usana by The Associated Press

In an article today about the Usana Health Sciences (NASDAQ:USNA) buyout offer by Myron Wentz (Gull Holdings), the following inaccurate statement was made:

The Securities and Exchange Commission concluded during the first quarter USANA’s marketing model is not a pyramid scheme, but the stock has a short interest about 34 percent, meaning many investors are betting the stock will fall.

The SEC did not say that Usana is “not a pyramid scheme.” Nothing could be further from the truth, although company management would like you to believe that this is what the SEC said.

What really happened: The SEC closed its informal investigation of Usana without giving any reasons why. The SEC chose not to take the informal investigation to the next level and make it formal.

That’s the end of the story. What the SEC did was not any sort of endorsement of the company, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is in the clear. It just means that the SEC decided not to continue investigating.

This type of irresponsible reporting really angers me. It is one of the reasons why pyramid schemes like Usana, Herbalife, Mary Kay, Pre-Paid Legal, and Primerica Financial Services continue to recruit new marks. They see statements like this by the Associated Press, and assume that they’re accurate.


  1. Elmer

    I would be interested in hearing more of why you believe “MonaVie is even worse”. I have several friends pushing the drink. I did like some of the products of USANA but after watching the misinformation and the “opps did I say I am a CPA or Doctor” stuff, I felt it was best to cut my losses. If you have any creditable information that I may be able to share with others regarding the path MonaVie is taking people it would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, terminatedramp, thanks for the heads up regarding Dallin Larsen. Funny thing I had a guy in my office pushing MonaVie and I told him after my experience with USANA I was taking a pass.

  2. I read that the special blended drink of the Acai Berry is actaully freeze dried acia and acia puree. Not the 100% Acia berry that they claim! To make matters even worse, its surprising how they don’t say that 2oz is too little and/or 5oz is too much. They have it mapped out exactly to where 4 bottles will be consumed within a month so you must spend 180$ a month to replenish your supply giving them a hefty income per month. PLUS! The reason they charge so much for the drink (30-45$ a bottle) is mainly because of the bottle! Becuase its in a wine looking bottle people will be willing to spend the extra cash thinking its worth it as we all know pretty dang well that if it were in a plastic sports bottle not so many people would think that its worth 45 buck…..seeing as how its not even 100% Acia i say !!SCAM!

  3. Dr. Jay

    Monavie is not a scam, its just one of many acai products out there. To respond to Andrew, there are no 100% acai juices available. They are all reconstituted pulp or powder. The acai berry spoils within hours of being harvested and so needs to be processed on the spot. The MLM side of Monavie is the same as any other MLM business, some love doing it, others hate it. Each to their own, but from a medical perspective I vouch for the acai berry and recommend it to patients. Also, it is not cheap no matter where you get it from and if you think u’re getting a killer deal on an acai supplement than yes, you’re getting scammed. Hope this helps.

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