Herbalife charged by U.S. with bribing Chinese officials

Federal prosecutors charged Herbalife with paying bribes to Chinese officials.
(Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

Federal prosecutors in New York charged health supplement maker Herbalife with paying bribes to Chinese officials, though it agreed to defer prosecution of the company. Its shares fell 13%.

Prosecutors unsealed an indictment Friday in federal court in Manhattan alleging that Herbalife from 2007 to 2016 provided corrupt benefits to Chinese officials, including those with government agencies and media outlets, to increase its business in that country.

At a hearing Friday, federal prosecutors said they had reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Herbalife relating to one count of conspiracy to violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

A spokesman for Herbalife didn’t immediately have a comment on the case. The stock price was halted after falling $6.28 to $43.40 at 10:32 a.m. EDT in New York.