The feud between billionaire investor Bill Ackman and Herbalife is heating up. Ackman has now accused Herbalife executives of “lawyering up” in expectation of federal criminal charges.
Bill Ackman has bet big against Herbalife, investing more than $1 billion in selling the company’s stock short. He has accused it of being nothing more than a grand pyramid scheme.
In the past few years Ackman’s bet against Herbalife has gone back and forth from looking smart to looking like a mistake as Herbalife’s stock has seesawed.
Both Ackman and Herbalife have been swinging mud at one another and accused the other of engaging in stock manipulations and fraud. The FBI has even investigated Ackman’s PR firm.
But now Ackman is fighting back.
He told a group of lawyers and investors at the IMN Active-Passive Investor Summit that senior management at Herbalife have been looking for criminal defense lawyers and that he believes that some of them will definitely be going to jail.
But people have not forgotten how Ackman promised to reveal damning evidence against the company at a conference last year. In the end he just gave somewhat of a rambling lecture on line.
Herbalife shot back in a press release saying, “There is simply no truth to Bill Ackman’s statements and this is just another stunt in his campaign, a campaign that is reportedly under criminal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice, to drive down the stock price in an effort to enrich himself and his investors in advance of options expiring on Friday. Unfortunately we have seen this pattern of activity before, especially before the third Friday of each month, when certain options expire.”
Meanwhile the company has taken the sophomoric step of buying up domain names that are unflattering to Ackman. These include “BillAckmanLies.com, ” “therealbillackman.com, ” “ackmanlies.com, ” “billackman.info” and “ackmanherbalife.com.”