Herbalife CEO dismisses idea his company is a pyramid scheme

NEW YORK Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:03pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The CEO of Herbalife, a company that sells weight management products, on Wednesday criticized a hedge fund manager who is shorting the company's stock based on the belief that it is a pyramid scheme, calling that idea "bogus."

Michael Johnson said in a statement to the press that William Ackman, who oversees $11 billion in assets at Pershing Square Capital Management and who confirmed Wednesday he was shorting Herbalife stock, should be investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"This appears to be yet another attempt to illegally manipulate the market by a group of overzealous short-sellers," Johnson said.

(Reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Gary Hill)

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