The TV pitchman had been awaiting trial in a $52 million fraud case

By Alla Byrne
Updated October 03, 2011 06:00 PM

TV salesman Don Lapre was found dead after an apparent suicide in an Arizona jail cell on Sunday, according to authorities.

His death comes just days before he was set to stand trail in a $52 million fraud case against him, CBS News reports.

The self-proclaimed “King of Infomercials” had been charged with 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering through his company, “The Greatest Vitamin in the World.”

Lapre, 47, was known for his late-night advertisements, which were parodied on Saturday Night Live.

The Arizona-based pitchman was indicted for scamming millions of dollars from at least 220,000 people between 2004 and 2007. He allegedly set up a pyramid scheme used to sell vitamins that did not provide the health benefits he claimed.

If convicted, Lapre would have faced between $250,000 to $500,000 per count and five to 25 years in federal prison.