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Infomercial Star Don Lapre Found Dead in Jail

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 3rd 2011 10:15AM
Don LapreArizona TV pitchman Don Lapre, the self-styled "King of Infomercials," has been found dead in his jail cell, just days before he was due to stand trial on charges of bilking investors and customers out of almost $52 million.

According to AZCentral.com, U.S. Marshals said Lapre's body was discovered on Sunday morning at a federal-contract facility in Florence, Arizona.

Officials suspect he committed suicide while in federal custody, but the death remains under investigation.

In June, a grand jury indicted Lapre on 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering. He was arrested in Tempe shortly afterward and his trial on fraud charges linked to his vitamin-selling business was due to start tomorrow.

He reportedly attempted suicide by slashing his femoral artery when federal marshals arrived to arrest him.

'The Greatest Vitamin in the World' pitchman was accused of overseeing and promoting a misleading opportunity. Officials allege that he defrauded investors and customers by selling them worthless vitamins that didn't live up to his extravagant advertising claims.

Lapre is alleged to have used his trademark emphatic TV pitch style to recruit some 220,000 investors and customers, who handed over almost $52 million before his business was shut down in 2007.

He came to fame on TV pitch shows like 'Making Money From A Tiny One Bedroom Apartment,' and his sales technique relied heavily on recounting his hard-luck life story to viewers. He claimed to have made a fortune by running numerous tiny classified ads in thousands of newspapers around the country.

Lapre encouraged viewers to turn their lives around like he said he had and regaled them with tales of how he had made $50,000 a week out of his one-bedroom apartment.

At one stage Lapre was so well-known that his schtick was parodied by David Spade on 'Saturday Night Live.'

A statement on his website challenges the idea that he made millions out of the vitamins business: "I tried to create the best product on earth, paid out millions, made very little trying to make it a success, had attorneys review my entire company, paid out millions in refunds. ... I did not have the perfect company but never once did I allow one thing to be done that would violate any law."

Watch one of Don Lapre's pitches here:



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Alexandra

" The belief in good and evil creates within the mind a division between light and darkness, the conscious and the unconscious. Believing themselves to be good, everything a person doesn't want to see about himself or herself is repressed into the dark shadows of the unconscious."...you made the point................my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here MakeCash9.com

October 10 2011 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ryacenda

first--So Rooney retires, big deal it was time.his spot on 60 minutes had long worn out its welcome. have no fear andy in a few months you'll wish someone recognizes u at dinner Good Luck.
Second so the master pitch man is gone - good riddance to a big time cheat.
Last but not least . bon voyage Al Davis a smart Brooklyn kid who helped drive pro football to great success by eing a constant irritant to the bumbling owners. Rest in peace Al.

October 08 2011 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omnirail3

Are you frigging kidding me? I have never heard of this dou)he bag, but I did just watch one of his awe inspiring infomercials...it was amazing. I mean, I know how it ends, yet I still want to send his dead, rotting corpse some of my hard earned money. I am in the process of finding a tiny ad that will produce 30 or 40 bucks profit a week and then I will duplicate that another 3000 times in newspapers all over the country...cause so many people still read an actual hard copy of the paper...so friggin simple yet so ingenious!!! Any nitwit that sent this scum ******* pig of a used car salesman money deserves exactly what they deserved. WTF people, there are only three ways to get rich in America; work your ass off and save like crazy while living below your means. Build a business or get elected to public office. A buddy used to say if it is easy it is sleazy...and it is obvious this slime pit was sleazy. If he was legit and really knew how to build business's he would have faced the music and rebuilt his business and brand but he took the cowards way out. He knew he was facing 30 years in prison and maybe the thought of having a hard piping ni%%er from the hood strectching out his sleazy rectum was too much too bear...It always works out in the end... this guy is gone and the people he ripped off now have learned an expensive lesson. Next.

October 07 2011 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TERRY

Don did what the majority of infomercials do .......scam and drain people of what little money they have for hope. Could some of his concepts work ? Yes...but most these ideas are available in books you buy once and read . People dream BIG but do little to pursue them . You got a dream you got to build it from the ground up and these info mercial are almost always selling a short cut to ez street which wont materialize. Don might of built his career with good intentions in the beginning and the end is certainly sad. In life ...over time the strong survive . I found his infomercials humoreous and I am sure just as he did ...someone else will repackage some of his tools and sell them again and again and again . The market for FOOLS prting with money explodes in a bad economy.

October 07 2011 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ROB

Serves him right!!

October 07 2011 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kingofmobi

Plz sign Don's Memorial... It's time to support Don's family and kids during this rough time. Plz... we have set this up for them... http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/Don-Lapre-Memorial/homepage.aspx

October 06 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kingofmobi's comment
farfey68

are you an idiot????? or maybe just the people that would actually logon to your website to donate one dollar of their hard-earned money. do you honestly think that someone that was malicious and manipulative enough to steal over $50 million wouldn't be smart enough to hide millions for his own family???? Grow a brain!

October 08 2011 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack

The first thought that comes to mind viewing this video and reading the comments is the old saying "You can't cheat an honest man." The second thing that comes to mind is the realization that WE ARE THE WORLD. The world and all of it's apparent "evils" is a projection of our own inner states. It is our collective belief system that creates "evil" in the world. I put "evil" in quotes because the problem with the world is not "evil" in the metaphysical sense, but rather the collective belief or "religion" shared by all of humaity that humans have god-like powers of Good and Evil, Humans are not gods. Humans are animals. There is no permanent "self" or "soul," no litte man or woman inside the head that makes choices, only ever-changing neurological states. People are basically selfish. The only thing that keeps a person from doing selfish or illegal things is the particular balance of a person's mind. Minds are balanced differently. It is egotistical and self-righteous to think "I am good." The belief in good and evil creates within the mind a division between light and darkness, the conscious and the unconscious. Believing themselves to be good, everything a person doesn't want to see about himself or herself is repressed into the dark shadows of the unconscious. We need scapegoats like this guy in the video to project our own sins onto. That way we don't have to look at ourselves.

October 06 2011 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rickpetersonms

Who woulda thought!

October 06 2011 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nalinikant

typical selfish man..........rip off people for your own gain, then kill yourself so you don't have to suffer your own pain....why not repay the people you stole from? No it's all about you.........

October 06 2011 at 7:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
evil.klr

why feel sorry for his friends and family he didnt give a **** about them or anyone other than himself thats why he comitted suicide,If he cared at all he would have stuck it out ******* Coward.

October 06 2011 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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