John Peterson, a top Herbalife distributor, has died in an apparent suicide,
the New York Post’s Michelle Celarier reports.He was 58.
Peterson was found inside a 2008 Ford pickup parked at his residence in Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he “succumbed to a single gunshot wound,” said Ray Birch, undersheriff for Routt County. Birch said the initial investigation indicated the gunshot was self-inflicted.
According to the report, Peterson, who was a member of the “Founder’s Circle,” was one of Herbalife’s top distributors earning an estimated $US3 million last year.
In a promotional video for Herbalife, Peterson is seen talking about the lavish lifestyle he was able to live because of the “good fortune” he had with Herbalife.
He said he had four homes — one in Steamboat Springs, Colo., a ranch in Wyoming, a beach home in Mexico and a place in Brazil. He said he also used a helicopter and a plane to get around.
His interests included snow skiing, water skiing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, golf and tennis, according to the video.
Herbalife is a multi-level marketing firm that sells nutritional products such as weight loss shakes and supplements. The company has been the focal point of a battle between billionaire hedge fund titans.
Bill Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital, said last December that he’s short $US1 billion worth of the stock. He believes Herbalife is a “pyramid scheme” that targets lower income individuals, especially from the Hispanic population.
Ackman’s long-time rival Carl Icahn disagrees. Shortly after Ackman revealed his short, Icahn amassed a 16% stake in the company. He believes Ackman will be the victim of the “mother of all short squeezes.”
Watch Peterson’s promotional video below:
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