Herbalife Ltd. (HLF): Herr Files Ethics Complaint Against Markey – ValueWalk Premium
Herbalife LTD. HLF

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF): Herr Files Ethics Complaint Against Markey

Brian J. Herr, Republican candidate for United States Senate, today filed an ethics complaint against Senator Edward Markey over “the potential use of his federal office to manipulate the stock of a publicly traded company to benefit William Ackman, a hedge fund executive, speculator, and large political contributor”, says a release from Herr regarding Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).

“This has all the elements to be the next House of Cards episode:  a 38-year Washington politician, a billion dollar speculation by a hedge fund investor, and a lobbyist with ties to the Senator willing to make the introductions,” said Herr.  “Sadly, these characters are not fictional.  All you have to do is connect the dots to easily see that Senator Markey used his public office to manipulate the stock of a publicly traded company in order to financially benefit a campaign donor.”

Herr filed the complaint about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.  In the letter addressed to Chairman Boxer and Vice Chairman Isakson, Herr outlines the facts of the case as uncovered by various news outlets and asks them “to conduct a formal investigation into the extent Mr. Markey misused his office.”  A copy of the complaint about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) can be found below.

Herbalife LTD. HLF

Herbalife Ltd. HLF via Tim Ramey

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) complaint

March 17, 2014

Honorable Barbara Boxer, Chairman

Honorable Johnny Isakson, Vice Chairman

Select Committee on Ethics

220 Hart Building

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Chairman Boxer and Vice Chairman Isakson:


It has come to my attention that Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) has potentially used his federal office to manipulate the stock of a publicly traded company to benefit William Ackman, a hedge fund executive, speculator, and large political contributor. According to reports in the Boston GlobeWall Street Journal and New York Times, here are the facts:

  1. Hedge fund executive William Ackman made a $1 billion investment in the collapse of the nutritional supplement company Herbalife.
  2. William Ackman lobbied several lawmakers to take action against Herbalife in an effort to drive the stock price lower so that his $1 billion investment pays enormous returns.
  3. On January 23rd, Mr. Markey wrote a letter to federal regulators, requesting an investigation of the Herbalife.  As a direct result, Herbalife's stock dropped 14%. In the days leading up to January 23rd, various trade activity spiked on this stock.
  4. Other Senators declined to engage specifically saying they did not want to interfere in this type of stock transaction.
  5. William Ackman contributed $32,400 to Senate Democrats.
  6. William Ackman retained Rasky Baerlein, a communications and lobbying firm.  The CEO and Chairman of the firm, Larry Rasky, is a former Markey staff member.
  7. On March 12, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission opened an official inquiry into Herablife, prompting a sell-off of the stock.

I believe that Mr. Markey has improperly used his public office and betrayed the public trust.  Mr. Markey's staff was well aware of Mr. Ackman's intentions.  Furthermore, the fact that Mr. Ackman retained Mr. Rasky raises suspicion and further calls into doubt that Mr. Markey was unaware of the impacts an investigation of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) would have on the stock price.

I believe that the public has a right to know what Mr. Markey knew about this situation and when he knew it.  Moreover, the public has a right to know why Mr. Markey and his staff would even entertain using his office to interject their authority in an elaborate “short sell” stock transaction such as this.  Finally, was the letter Mr. Markey sent to the FTC released in advance to those that could benefit by a “short sale” of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) stock?

I respectfully request that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics conduct a formal investigation into the extent Mr. Markey violated the public trust by misusing his office in this matter. A complete investigation of this matter should include a full analysis of all the transactions by the Securities Exchange Commission and other relevant federal regulatory and federal law enforcement agencies.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.


Brian J. Herr

Candidate for United States Senate


H/T Svea Herbst-Bayliss

Comments (3)

  • nadowalk

    Theres always someone that could stand for the truth I do believe that sooner or later everything will come as clear as water. Thank You Mr Brian Im just a citizen that work hard everyday and what has happened because of the actions and bad intentions of Mr Ackman to destroy the Company Called Herbalife has even put the risk of all my life savings. Im so sure that if it was not of Mr Ackman’s manipulation and corruption Herbalife stocks would be stable.

    March 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm
  • Herbalife_Lover

    Follow the money. Ackman is doing a lot more that manipulating the stock market and hurting people who have invested in a rock solid company with great products. His actions could literally take food out of the mouths of the honest, hard working people who are trying to work from home, be hands on parents, and feed their family healthy vitamin supplements. If he had chosen to “short” Mac Donalds Stock, he could have made a great case against them for poisoning our children with useless nutrient deficient processed garbage The sugar, fat and calories from Mac Donalds are linked to obesity and all forms health problems. It would have been a much better bet that he could make a case to shut them down, than attacking a company that has helped so many millions of people feel better and get great clean nutrition. I’ve consumed the Herbalife products for 30 years and at 67 years old I feel Great. I’m EARNED substantial income through the direct sales of these products to consumers. I have no quotas, and have never been pressured to recruit or sell. If i work a little I earn a little, If I work a lot, I make a lot. I have no boss and make my own hours around my family, doing something I love. Just crawl into the woodwork, Mr Ackman, where you belong. You represent dirty money. I am proud to represent working with an honest company with great products.

    March 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    • nadowalk

      We need to join forces Positive forces.. Mark Hughes faced a challenge at the beginning , Now we need to do our best to defend 34 years of hard work!! our positive thoughts and prayers for the good that Herbalife has brought to millions on the planet..We are “Simply the Best” and we will for the future generations

      March 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm


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