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Infomercial Pitchman Found Dead In Jail

October 4, 2011 by staff 

Infomercial Pitchman Found Dead In Jail, TV pitchman Don Lapre was found dead in his jail cell in Florence, Arizona, on Sunday after he apparently committed suicide, reports Reuters.

The 47-year-old was arrested in federal prison without bail, awaiting trial on charges of defrauding the people of almost 52 million and reports Fox News. The trial was to begin Tuesday.

According to CBS News:

Lapre called himself “The King of Infomercials” on their website, which gained notoriety for its numerous last-minute ads, including “make money from a tiny apartment one,” where, he said, he and 50,000 a week from their small apartment. Infomercials were parodied on “Saturday Night Live” and mocked the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Between 2004 and 2077, which attracted at least 220,000 people in a pyramid scheme to sell what he called “the greatest vitamin in the world,” CBS News reports. Vitamins do not provide health benefits according to him, and the company was closed in 2007 after complaints.

The Phoenix New Times reports:

The charges against him including wire fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, promotional money laundering, and money-laundering transactions.

According to the indictment, which had recruited 226,794 people to sell their “value” products through their own individual sites.

Lapre, federal authorities allege, offering false incentives to their salespeople, and the promise that “more than 20 new people to try our vitamins, we send a check for 1,000 and!”

Lapre had been charged with 41 counts of fraud and related charges, Reuters reports. If convicted, he could be charged and 250,000 to 500,000 and for the account and term of five to 25 years in federal prison.

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