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Video: TV pitchman accused of fraud

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    >>> a popular television pitchman known for his get rich infomercials is under indictment for defrauding consumers out of tens of million of dollars. tom, good morning.

    >> good morning, ann. investors say the pitch was simple. spend less than $50 on this product and make thousands in return. they say donald lapre was convincing on tv, so convincing it was criminal. he's now being charge with several crimes including money laundering and telemarketing fraud.

    >> the vitamin industry is a multi-billion dollar business.

    >> reporter: he's a late night infomercial king pitching a way to make big money in little time .

    >> you're going to wish you got started doing this ten years ago.

    >> reporter: donald lapre 's ended up on "saturday night live." it's no joke to federal prosecutors who say lapre's so-called greatest vitamin in the world business is a scheme, charging he intentionally ripped off more than 200,000 people.

    >> i cried a lot of tears. and you know, makes me emotional now to think about it because you know, i was mad at myself, i was mad at don lapre for taking advantage of me.

    >> reporter: lisa says it was 3:00 in the morning when she was touched by lapre's tv pitch to make a profit.

    >> the way he presented it, he was good. it sounded believable.

    >> reporter: lapre sold sites like this to customers who hoped to become internet-based vitamin salesman. she said her initial investment buzz less than $40 but that soon ballooned to $6,000.

    >> the salesman called me several times. said $1,000 for the website. $ 1500 for a tracker, it's $1,000 for the 800 number .

    >> reporter: lisa says for all that time, money, and confusion, she lost her savings, all to sell one single bottle of vitamins for $40. indictment states lapre knowingly misled investors like lloyd by using words like amazing, unbelievable, inand incredible to describe how much money they could make. allegedly without telling them they would be competing against over 200,000 others offering the same product advertised in the same manner on the web.

    >> if you look at these infomercials most of them are focused on that. you never have to leave your house. it's your own business and your own boss. that's what they're appealing to.

    >> reporter: now that lisa knows she's not the only one who listened to lapre's pitch, she has advice for them.

    >> you should be refunding us our money back. i'm not a woman of means. most of the people that invest their life savings into this probably aren't people of great means. and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    >> we reached out to lapre and his attorney but they did not return our calls. the fed said lapre made more than $2 million off the scheme. the company, more than $51 million. and some investors over $6 million total. that still leave $40 million unaccounted for and feds are looking for that money to repay victims if they win this case. ann?


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