It wasn’t until Lapre moved on to peddling a single miracle vitamin that could treat everything from heart disease to arthritis to insomnia to even cancer—basically a modern-day version of the old snake oil, magical cure-all elixir—that the authorities took notice. After receiving warnings from the FDA, Lapre was indicted for running a nationwide pyramid scheme built on worthless businesses. And after failing to show up in court to face that indictment, Lapre was arrested in June at an Arizona gym, where he had reportedly been living and hiding out for several days. According to the reports, Lapre had several self-inflicted “very deep cuts in his groin area,” having attempted to commit suicide by cutting his femoral artery. It seems as though he finally succeeded at killing himself while in jail (though authorities have yet to say how he did it).


Lapre’s business websites were all shut down several years ago, leaving only this farewell from his personal site, which now reads (perhaps intentionally) like a suicide note. On it, Lapre offers the benedictory messages “Enjoy Life” and “Never Stop Dreaming” (echoes of his positive-thinking style of pitching), and defends his business practices by saying he’s “been accused of something I did not do. I did not have the perfect company but never once did I allow one thing to be done that would violate any law. Nevertheless, because the majority of people did not  make money, in spite of everyone of them being able to make as many $1000 checks as they wanted, I am left to fight a battle that will for sure destroy what energy I have left inside.” He ends by posting a photo collage of the children he’s now left behind.