EXPIRED: 10/02/11 – Don Lapre, 47, had dropped out of his Massachusetts high school only to find success and fame as the ‘King of Infomercials’. He’s the guy who peddled get-rich-quick schemes, showing you his secrets for making $50,000 a week by “placing tiny classified ads in the newspaper.” Remember him?
Well, after the ‘tiny classified ad’ thing wore out its welcome, Lapre was pitching “The Greatest Vitamin in the World.” That, too, was also a sham and the FDA was on his case for years trying to get him to stop claiming that the worthless pills could do things that it couldn’t. His last attempt at business was duping people into letting his ‘company’ make one minute TV ads that “you could put up on YouTube to reach millions of people to buy your product or service.”
Eventually he was accused on 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering. Basically, the guy defrauding at least 220,000 people out of nearly $52 million.
He was arrested this past June for failing to appear for his arraignment. US Marshals found Lapre hiding in the locker room of a Life Time Fitness location in Tempe, Arizona. He had reportedly lived in the Life Time Fitness location for two days, and was suffering from serious self-inflicted knife wounds to his groin as he tried to sever his femoral artery.
He was thrown into a holding cell to await a trial that was to begin today. The charges carried potential fines of between $250,000 and $500,000 per count and federal prison terms of between five and 25 years.
But Lapre had other ideas and took his life. He wrote on his website, donlapre.com, “I am left to fight a battle that will for sure destroy what energy I have left inside.” And with that, he took his life.