Don LaPre, an entrepreneur known for his television infomercials, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent suicide. You can read the story here. He was in jail, awaiting a trial.
This news is quite sad to me for various reasons. LaPre is best known for his infomercials in the early 1990's when he sold his money making strategy. While some may call it a scam, it was like many other money making kits that are sold today. It doesn't matter if it is trading stocks or buying real estate. Most people understand what they are getting when they buy these things.
These money-making strategies are not a guarantee for success. None of them are. However, they can give you great tips and provide motivation to take action. LaPre's money-making system was no different. In fact, his might have been better in the fact that it gave some sound marketing advice and also provided good tips and motivation for budding entrepreneurs.
The reason he was in jail was because of his latest money-making venture selling vitamins. The FDA (of course) went after him because he was making claims about these vitamins and he did not pay the appropriate bribe of about one billion dollars to the FDA to get it approved as a drug. The FDA already has plenty of blood on its hands from withholding life saving drugs off the market, not to mention the drugs that never come into existence due to the major barrier of the FDA. I suppose we could add one more death to its resume as it ruined LaPre's life and most likely pushed the man into committing suicide.
It is ironic that the federal government put this man in jail because his vitamins were not performing what was being claimed. Yet we have the giant pharmaceutical industry, in hand with the government, pushing vaccines, cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication, depression medication, ADHD medication, and everything else you can think of. Not only do these vaccines and drugs not always do what they claim, but they oftentimes cause more harm than good. At least if you take a vitamin that doesn't do anything, there is no harm done.
This is just the latest example of the government being completely out of control. Just look at all of the different counts that LaPre faced. He was charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and a host of other charges. This is a joke as all of these charges stem from one thing: selling a vitamin that made certain claims that had not been approved by the FDA.
This is Martha Stewart all over again. Luckily for Martha Stewart, it was a happier ending.
I have no idea what kind of a guy Don LaPre was, but he was not a criminal based on anything that I've read. He was a successful entrepreneur, but he was not approved by the bureaucrats in Washington DC. May he rest in peace.