Friday, June 24, 2011

Don Lepre, Fraud, and Lessons About Missing Court

[Photo from]
As a former federal prosecutor and, currently, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense lawyer, I can tell you that one important lesson I have learned about criminal cases is that -- no matter what else happens -- you must always show up at court on time.  You must never keep a judge waiting! 

Well, according to news reports, Mr. Don Lepre, the so-called "King of Infomercials," has apparently never learned this lesson.  Lepre has reportedly now been arrested in Tempe, Arizona by U.S. Marhals after missing his arraignment, which was scheduled for earlier this week in Phoenix.  If he had appeared in court, Lepre had reportedly been expected to enter a not guilty plea to federal fraud charges.

The fraud charges, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, reportedly revolve around Lepre's business, the "Greatest Vitamins in the World."  The indictment alleges, among other things, that numerous victims were promised money which they never received for selling vitamins.  Of course, Lepre has a right to enter a not guilty plea and a right to a jury trial.

But first, Lepre apparently must learn to show up at court!  And I am quite confident that a federal judge will now teach him this important lesson and ensure he shows up from now on!

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