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TV Pitchman Don Lapre

Dead in Apparent Suicide

10/3/2011 5:32 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Don Lapre
Don Lapre -- the self-proclaimed "King of Infomercials" -- was found dead in his Arizona jail cell early Sunday morning of an apparent suicide ... just days before he was set to go on trial for allegedly selling millions of dollars of bogus vitamins.

Lapre, who has been a fixture on early AM TV hocking various products, was facing 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering for selling a product called, "The Greatest Vitamin in the World."

The FDA begged to differ, concluding that Lapre was making wild claims about the vitamin that were simply unsupported by the evidence.



It's unclear how Lapre killed himself, but a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service says officials are investigating the situation.

Lapre had been accused of screwing roughly 220,000 people out of nearly $52 million in a national vitamin scam.

The 47-year-old shot to stardom with a scheme involving classified ads in newspapers.

66 COMMENTS

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1.

moxie    

A ________ and his _______ are soon ___________.

1032 days ago
2.

Bubbles The Chimp    

By committing suicide to avoid his own judgment, Don Lapre will be known as one of the "The Greatest Cowards In The World".........

..... for $39.99

1032 days ago
3.

upyours    

suicide BS. THe government, backed by pharmaceutical companies, murdered him I bet. I'm sure all synthetic vitamins don't work, but maybe he was hawking natural remedies that do, and that's a threat to the drug companies.

1032 days ago
4.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

It's a shame that he felt that was his only option. If he was smart enough to run such a scam, he was probably smart enough to turn his life around and make something better of himself. There are people who will never get out of prison, but that hasn't stopped them from striving to be better people.

1032 days ago
5.

anony    

This idiot was a scam artist from the beginning in the 90s, when he said that he made "thousands" of dollars by just putting ads in newspapers' classified sections.
Then the internet came along and pretty much killed that kind of thing.
People are INCREDIBLY stupid when it comes to get-rich-quick schemes on infomercials.
IF you had some thing that was working for you and making you tons of money, would you tell EVERYONE?
No, you would tell NO ONE. Not even your mother.
When that thing is played out, THEN you make the infomercial and tell people how you made your money.
But there's no money to be made in it now.
That might have been true for you, but not anymore. That's why they put the "your results may be different" disclaimers at the bottom of the screen. At that point, you're making money from the infomercial and the suckers who buy "your system."

1032 days ago
6.

Cheryl A.    

There is a sucker born every minute. This was proven by everyone who bought these ridiculous vitamins. Not saying that they deserved to be ripped off but, gee, use your head when making unusual purchases.

1032 days ago
7.

terry f    

But wait: Theres more

1032 days ago
8.

3Storms    

He was full of crap from the very first day I saw him in an infomercial.

1032 days ago
9.

RyogaVee    

He just took out a new tiny classified ad... in the obituary!

1032 days ago
10.

Muppet    

I can't believe the number of people that fall for these scams. Is it any wonder that there's so many new scams coming out every day? How many times do people have to be told, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!! People need to be smart and research something before they buy it! I feel sorry for older people that are taken advantage of and people that suffer any type of mental disability, the rest...not so much!

1032 days ago
11.

Dennis Johnson    

I knew Don for many years and he was nothing but a back stabbing Low Life POS!He ripped off many friends and would go out of his way to try and make you look stupid.He called his fans and customers "MARKS".I know I wont miss him.

1032 days ago
12.

NobodySpecial    

He made millions with that stupid "place tiny classified ads" scheme but that was not enough. He then tried selling people internet web design and hosting packages that would pretty much offer nothing and that was not enough. Finally the biggest scam of all was this vitamin thing and he got so greedy that he kept pumping up the scam, offering more and more "return" on your investment. It was a huge ponzi scheme and he was painting himself into a corner but couldnt stop.

It's a shame he didnt get put away for life, this end was too easy for him

1032 days ago
13.

Milf Biggenson    

"I have a surefire way you can get out of debt, stop harassing calls from collectors and live the rest of eternity in peace. For only 3 easy payments of $19.99 and one difficult payment of $316.00, you can get my 'How To Commit Suicide' instructional DVD. But wait, there's more. Call today and I will send, you absolutely free of charge, a second DVD for a loved one who might want to get in on this amazing, once in a lifetime offer. You only pay the shipping and handling of $49.00. Call today, but hurry. I may not be around long enough to answer your call, since this information is absolute life-altering dynamite!"

1032 days ago
14.

Mikey    

I have a new product. Its a miniature coffin which would accommodate ones mummified balls only. It sells for a fraction of a full size coffin. Am looking for resellers to put tiny ads in the newspaper and on the web to sell my mummified ball coffin. You WILL become rich. Call Now!

1032 days ago
15.

Mikey    

He got locked up for the rest of his life.

1032 days ago
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