JULY 25, 2008
The major Clinton donor whose company was federally investigated for selling databases of sick and unsuspecting elderly people to scam artists has been fired as chairman of the board on the heels of a shareholder lawsuit accusing him of misspending millions of dollars.
As head of the Omaha-based marketing database firm InfoUSA Inc, Vinod Gupta spent excessive mounts of company money on questionable things like a yacht, a private jet, a Hawaiian condo, upscale club memberships, expensive tickets to sporting events and meals.
This led the Securities and Exchange Commission and an internal company board committee to launch an investigation into company spending. It also inspired the mega firm’s board to give Gupta the boot this week, although he still owns 40% of its stock and will remain a powerful player in the firm.
As one of the Clintons’ most generous benefactors, Gupta has given the famous political couple millions of dollars in campaign contributions over the years and the former commander-in-chief millions more to deliver his coveted motivational speeches and do “consulting” work.
The wealthy Nebraska entrepreneur donated $2 million to Hillary’s millennium celebration and $1 million to Bill’s presidential library in Little Rock Arkansas. In 2000, he gave Hillary $100,000 to kick start her senate campaign and he hosted a fundraiser for the former First Lady at his mansion. A few years ago he paid Bill $3.3 million worth of “consulting contracts” as well as $900,000 in travel expenses.
The Clintons weren’t in any way discouraged from taking Gupta’s cash when his company was under federal investigation last year for selling the personal information of senior citizens—including those suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s disease—to criminal firms that later swindled the vulnerable seniors.
Gupta’s firm advertised lists of “Elderly Opportunity Seekers,” 3.3 million older people “looking for ways to make money,” and “Suffering Seniors,” 4.7 million people with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. "Oldies but Goodies" contained 500,000 gamblers over 55 years old, for 8.5 cents apiece. One list said: "These people are gullible.They want to believe that their luck can change."
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