Herbalife shares sink after former CEO caught on tape discussing ignoring expense policies

  • The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says the Justice Department received a copy of the recorded comments by Herbalife's former CEO Richard Goudis.
  • About 10 years ago, when Goudis was CFO, he told a fellow employee working in Hong Kong or mainland China to ignore internal expense-account limits on entertainment, sources told WSJ.
  • Herbalife said last month that Goudis was stepping down because of comments by him prior to becoming CEO that were "contrary to the Company's expense-related policies and business practices."
Herbalife Plaza in Torrance, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Herbalife Plaza in Torrance, California.

Herbalife shares sank 5 percent Thursday after The Wall Street Journal reported that its former CEO resigned last month after federal investigators obtained recorded comments he made years ago about bypassing expense limits.

The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the nutritional supplement maker's anti-corruption policies in China. The Justice Department received a copy of the recorded comments by Richard Goudis, the report said.

About 10 years ago, when Goudis was CFO, he told a fellow employee working in Hong Kong or mainland China to ignore internal expense-account limits on entertainment, the Journal said, citing sources.

Goudis stepped down last month. At the time, Herbalife said he was leaving over comments that recently came to light made by him — before he became CEO — that were "contrary to the Company's expense-related policies and business practices." Board Chairman Michael Johnson stepped in to the CEO role on an interim basis.

The Journal said Goudis didn't respond to requests for comment and Herbalife and the Justice Department declined to comment.

The full Journal story is here.