Latino Group Demands Herbalife Probe

Wilkes's group visited the offices of several lawmakers last week. Both Herbalife and the hedge fund Pershing Square have poured money into lobbying Congress, with a focus on Latino members. A spokeswoman for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said the caucus has not taken a position on the issue.

Wilkes's push for an investigation into the company has come at the end of a year during which Herbalife has battled against a Wall Street hedge fund that gambled $1 billion on the prospect that the publicly-traded company would fail. The firm, Pershing Square, made that "short" investment arguing that regulators would determine that the company was operating as an illegal pyramid scheme – a claim the company has long refuted.

No regulatory agencies have said publicly if they would be undertaking an investigation into the claims against the company. But with efforts from Wilkes and others, pressure on the government agencies has continued. On Jan. 23, Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., wrote to the Federal Trade Commission to ask that the agency "look into the business practices at Herbalife."

Neither Herbalife or any of the agencies approached by Wilkes would say whether the company had also held discussions with the regulators.

But in October, Lori Kalani, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, wrote an email to the California Attorney General's office on behalf of Herbalife, saying the company believed that calls for various regulators to investigate the firm were part of a strategy to impact the stock price. Kalani's e-mail was provided to ABC News in response to a public records request.

"Given the activity this year, we thought it prudent to offer a meeting to answer questions the Consumer Protection staff may have," she wrote. "The company certainly would like the opportunity to address some of the concerns that the hedge fund and their advocates are asking the Attorney General to assess."

Wilkes told ABC News he is not working on behalf of the hedge fund, and that neither he nor LULAC has received any money from Pershing Square or any of its affiliates.

In response to Wilkes's efforts, an Herbalife spokeswomen released a statement to ABC News saying the company finds it "disappointing that LULAC prefers to continue making ill-informed public declarations that do not reflect a company that offers industry leading consumer protections, such as clear, accurate and timely disclosures to prospective members regarding potential income-generating opportunities."

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