Posted June 19, 2011

Vitamin Pitchman Indicted

As reported by CaseWatch.org on June 16, 2011, Donald Lapre has been charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with his marketing of "The Greatest Vitamin in the World." In a 2004 infomercial, Lapre claimed that his vitamin product contained "all you need for optimal health" and that independent advertisers (distributors) would get paid $1,000 or "up to $200 a month for life" every time they got 20 people to try it. But the indictment alleges:

**Lapre's sales pitches greatly exaggerated the program's income potential.

**Buyers were never told that their Internet-based businesses would ultimately be competing against more than 200,000 other "businesses" offering the exact same limited number of products in essentially the same manner.

**Although their initial investments were small, buyers were lured into expensive marketing programs that had little or no potential for generating sales.

From 2004 to 2007, 226,794 people invested more than $51.8 million and received just $6.3 million in commissions.

The website QuackWatch.com also reported that the vitamin product's formulator, "nutritionist" Douglas D. Grant, is serving a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter unrelated to his involvement with Lapre. For a detailed history of their activities, see QuackWatch.com.

A copy of the indictment is available at the link below.