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Fugitive TV And Internet Pitchman Don Lapre Arrested In Arizona

By / 06.24.11

It’s a wonder that TV and Internet scam artist Don Lapre isn’t already in prison. I remember being in college in the 90s, usually up late at night studying in a haze of booze and caffeine, and he was always on my television blabbering about how he was able to make $50,000 per week from his one bedroom apartment by selling “tiny classified ads” advertising 1-900 numbers. He was so ubiquitous, at one point, that he was satirized on SNL by David Spade. Then that fizzled out, apparently, but not before he got pretty wealthy sharing his “secrets” with others, and then the Internet came along and provided the shady pitchman with another avenue for fleecing the gullible of their money: selling what he called “The Greatest Vitamin in the World.”

Lapre made all sorts of outrageous claims about the vitamin in infomercials run on the web and on television, up to and including that it could help curb or cure things like diabetes, heart disease, strokes, insomnia, cancer, and arthritis. He was a modern day snake oil salesman in the truest sense. And now, finally, he may be going to prison for a long time after he was arrested last night by U.S. Marshals after living for a short time as a fugitive.

Reports Fox Tempe:

Lapre was wanted after he failed to appear for his Wednesday arraignment. Lapre was indicted on 41 counts including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering.

He’s accused of encouraging people to sell worthless vitamins, defrauding approximately 220,000 victims out of $52 million.

Lapre was often seen on television giving his hard-luck life story and how he was able to turn his life around. He refers to himself on his website as “The King of Infomercials.”

Perhaps sensing that he may be going away for a while, Lapre, always the motivational speaker, left an “inspirational” message on his website for everyone to remember him by…

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, tried to make the commission and products better every single year, and in spite of all that, I have been accused of something I did not do. I did not have the perfect company but never once did I allow one thing to be done that would violate any law. Nevertheless, because the majority of people did not make money, in spite of everyone of them being able to make as many $1000 checks as they wanted, I am left to fight a battle that will for sure destroy what energy I have left inside… I hope the pictures below motivate you to take a chance in life and try to do the impossible… It did not work out for me with my vitamins but I believe that being willing to fail is part of having a chance at success…. Never stop dreaming and for all those who sent me testimonials of what you did because of some of my help, I am grateful I made a small difference in your life… DL donlapre2000@yahoo.com

If you’ve never seen his act, here’s Lapre hawking his wonder vitamin…

And here’s one of his infamous “tiny classified ads” spots from the 90s…

It’ll be interesting to see how much time Lapre gets, if he’s even convicted. This is America, after all…


TAGSdon lapreinternet scam artiststhe greatest vitamin in the world

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