The former managing director of Herbalife’s China subsidiary was ordered to pay approximately $550,000 to resolve charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by bribing Chinese government officials over the course of a decade.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered final judgment against Jerry Li on June 27 (the SEC published its litigation release Monday). Li was charged by the SEC in November 2019 with orchestrating a scheme to bribe Chinese officials to “obtain direct selling licenses and curtail government investigations of his company’s business practices.” The agency alleged his misconduct took place from 2006-16.
Li was also accused of falsifying expense reports and circumventing Herbalife’s internal accounting controls to conceal his bribes. He did not respond to the SEC’s allegations, resulting in last month’s default judgment against him.
Li’s alleged actions played part in Herbalife agreeing to pay $123 million in August 2020 to settle charges of violating the FCPA brought by the SEC and the Justice Department. As part of its settlement with the Justice Department, Herbalife admitted to the charges and entered a deferred prosecution agreement for a period of three years. The company was credited for its cooperation.
In November 2019, Li was indicted by the Justice Department, along with his former colleague Mary Yang. On last update, both were identified as being at large.