Health club
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Inside Herbalife

Fitness enthusiasts exercise at a Torrance gym operated by Herbalife distributors January 29, 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Visitors to Herbalife Ltd.'s manufacturing facility in Lake Forest are greeted by a multi-media promotion of the company, including a video pitch by chief executive Michael Johnson.  (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Orders are filled at an Herbalife distribution center in Carson, California January 24, 2013. Products are shipped from this facility to distributors throughout the United States and in many countries worldwide. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Herbalife employees test the quality of the company’s nutritional and weight-loss products at a lab in Torrance January 24, 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
A worker handles a container of Herbalife’s most popular product, Formula 1 meal replacement shake mix, at the company’s manufacturing facility in Lake Forest January 24, 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Distributors pick up Herbalife weight-loss and nutrition products at the front counter of a distribution center in Carson, California January 24, 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Distributors use touch screens to place orders at an Herbalife distribution center in Carson, California January 24, 2013. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Vincent Davis, 20, prepares a beverage for a customer at an Herbalife nutrition club in Long Beach. Patrons visit the club for nutrition and weight-loss products. There are hundreds of clubs like this in the United States, operated by independent distributors.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Herbalife drink products sit on the counter at a private nutrition club in Long Beach. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Angel Perez runs an Herbalife nutrition club in Inglewood, California January 29, 2013. Herbalife estimates Latinos account for about 60% of its U.S. sales made through its network of independent distributors, including Perez. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Customer Elizabeth Sandoval (right) gives her Herbalife distributor Angel M. Perez (left) a little hug after grabbing her morning cup of tea at Perez’s Herbalife nutrition club in Inglewood, California January 29, 2013. Herbalife estimates Latinos account for about 60% of its U.S. sales made through its network of independent distributors. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Michael O. Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Herblife Ltd. at his office in Los Angeles. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has called Herbalife a pyramid scheme in which most independent distributors lose money, while a lucky few who got in early get rich by getting commissions from others they brought into the business. He’s bet $1 billion that Herbalife shares will fall. The company denies the allegations, saying many of its distributors sign up only to get a discount for personal consumption. (Scott Eells / Bloomberg)
Mark Hughes founded Herbalife in 1980. He died in 2000. (Los Angeles Times)
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