Thursday, March 10, 2016


"Herbalife stock tumbles after saying it overstated growth" by Phil Serafino and Craig Giammona Bloomberg News  March 03, 2016

PARIS — Herbalife Ltd. stock prices tumbled after the company said it overstated the growth of its customer and distributor base, bringing another headache to a business facing a federal investigation into whether it’s a pyramid scheme.

A metric called active new members increased 3.2 percent worldwide in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, not the 16.7 percent cited in a Feb. 25 conference call, the Los Angeles-based company said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

The announcement may embolden Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, who is shorting the company’s shares and says it’s an illegal pyramid scheme. Herbalife said it discovered the incorrect information, which resulted from database errors, on March 1....


Did I miss anything?

Speaking of headaches and pyramid schemes....

"UBS French unit faces witness-tampering probe" by Chad Bray New York Times  March 04, 2016

LONDON — The Swiss banking giant UBS said Thursday its business in France had been placed under formal investigation by the French authorities for possible witness tampering after a complaint by a former employee.

The announcement of the inquiry came less than two weeks after judges in France concluded a 19-month investigation into whether the bank helped French clients hide funds from the country’s national tax administration from 2004 to 2012. The judges are in the process of determining whether to send that case to trial.

The inquiry is the latest headache for UBS.

On Friday, a Belgian magistrate judge began a separate inquiry into whether the lender had engaged in fraud, money laundering, and other crimes in an effort to help wealthy individuals avoid taxes.

UBS has described the accusations in Belgium as “unfounded.”

Tax authorities in the United States and Europe are pursuing individuals who seek to avoid paying taxes, as well as the institutions that assist them.

Because of Switzerland’s strict banking privacy laws, assets hidden in the country have been a target of tax authorities, with several Swiss banks reaching deals with US authorities in recent years.

The Swiss private banking arm of HSBC is facing similar inquiries in France and Belgium over whether it assisted clients in avoiding taxes.

UBS agreed in 2009 to disclose client names and to pay $780 million in a settlement with the US Justice Department, in which it avoided criminal prosecution in a tax evasion inquiry....

It's called a kickback.