For the longest time, many Herbalife skeptics have wondered what is preventing California Attorney General Kamala Harris from enforcing a permanent injunction against the company that, among other things, calls for the company to maintain records of its sales to distributors, stop making health claims, and stop pumping absurd income related claims that have driven the company’s success over the last decade or so. Click here to see a video where Herbalife’s CEO tells you that being a distributor is a “solution for these tough economic times.”
Pretty bold claims for a company that says people only sign up for a little part time income, no?
An article was published this evening by Matt Handley that is a must read. The article details the 1986 permanent injunction against Herbalife. I have also detailed the injunction on my Twitter in the past. A full text of the injunction can be found here. Some of the highlights look like this:
And the California residents that are getting bilked by the Herbalife fraud look like this:
All the while, these people’s protests seem to be falling on deaf ears. For the longest time I wondered – why isn’t California Attorney General Kamala Harris enforcing this permanent injunction? It reads as clear as day. What is preventing her from taking a look at this company that operates in her home state? And what’s the point of writing a permanent injunction into law if future Attorney Generals are going to denigrate it by ignoring it ever existed?
Today, I feel like I may have the answer.
First, while researching Kamala Harris, I found she recently married to Douglas Emhoff:
Mr. Emhoff happens to be the PARTNER at a law firm called Venable, LLP:
And interestingly enough, Venable, LLP has been – wait for it – retained by Herbalife on NUMEROUS occasions in 2013.
Surely this would seem like some sort of enormous conflict of interest, no?
What is Kamala Harris thinking when she looks at the 1986 injunction that is currently being nothing short of egregiously and utterly degraded by Herbalife’s current business tactics – and then she turns and sees her husband who is PARTNER of the firm retained as Herbalife’s counsel for several matters in 2013?
The questions this leaves me with are:
1. What is Herbalife’s current relationship with Venable, LLP?
2. Where does Kamala’s husband stand on involvement with any and all Herbalife litigation?
3. Why has this relationship not been disclosed as some sort of potential conflict of interest?
Your move, Kamala Harris. Do the right thing.
(Disclosure: Short Herbalife)