Don Lapre Indicted for $52 Million Vitamin Scam

Published by: Frank Galvano on 16th Jun 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
Donald Lapre.jpg

Don Lapre Indicted for $52 Million Vitamin Scam

Donald Lapre, owner and pitchman for the company The Best Vitamin in the World, has reportedly been indicted for scamming thousands of people out of millions of dollars by selling them what were essentially worthless franchises in his company.  The U.S Justice Department issued a 41-count indictment against the man, claiming that he sold useless, Internet-based businesses to more than 220,000 people.

According to the charges, Lapre advertised heavily on national television peddling his product, luring in unsuspecting people looking to buy the vitamins or start their own business.  The charges against him range from mail fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud to promotional and transactional money laundering.

“Home based-business opportunities have a certain appeal, especially in today's economy,” commented Pete Zegarac, Inspector in Charge of the Phoenic Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  “Consumers should be cautious of schemes which promise to bring in large amounts of money with little or no effort on their part.”

According to the indictment against Lapre, at one point he had enlisted more than 225,000 people to sell his “worthless” products through individual websites of their own.  The charges also accuse Lapre of providing fraudulent documents detailing non-existent vitamin sales to investors in his company.  Lapre also offered empty incentives to his scam victims, such as “each time you get 20 new people to try our vitamin, we send you a check for $1,000!”

According to the indictment, Lapre scammed nearly $52 million out of his victims over the course of the scam.  He is scheduled to be arraigned June 22nd in a federal court in Phoenix before Magistrate Judge Lawrence O. Anderson.  Prosecutors are asking those who were scammed by Lapre's vitamin business scheme to contact them by going to This Location.

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