Don Lapre, the Phoenix-based infomercial pitchman, was found dead in his cell at a federal-contract facility just 2 days before his trial on fraud charges linked to his vitamin-selling business.
According to Matt Hershey, supervisory deputy U.S. Marshal, Lapre was found about 8:30 a.m., unresponsive in an apparent suicide.
[Also read: BIZZIBIZ: VP Don LaPre 2nd Exec Indicted for Fraud August 1, 2011]
Officials would not say how Lapre may have killed himself.
According to an Arizona Republic story:
“Previously, the U.S. Department of Justice stated Lapre may have suffered from anxiety and depression and warned that he may have had suicidal thoughts…
"We are not yet releasing how he might have injured himself.
”Lapre was wanted by law enforcement after he failed to appear at his U.S. District Court arraignment in June on 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, promotional money laundering and transactional money laundering. A federal grand jury indicted Lapre on fraud-related charges for promoting his vitamin-selling business, Greatest Vitamin in the World of Phoenix. The indictments alleged that the business signed up 226,794 people who were promised lucrative commission checks for selling vitamins and recruiting others to the business.
“Customers and investors spent nearly $51.8 million, but only 5,000 victims were paid about $6.4 million in commission, according to a statement released in June by the U.S. Department of Justice. Lapre collected at least $2.2 million from the business from 2004 to 2007.”
Read more here:
BIZZIBIZ Franchise Founder Jim Piccolo Responds to Criticism August 27, 2011
BIZZIBIZ Franchise, Youngevity & Dr. Joel Wallach August 3, 2011
BIZZIBIZ: VP Don LaPre 2nd Exec Indicted for Fraud August 1, 2011
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