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The Truth About Vinod Gupta: A Story of Fake PR 2023

The Truth About Vinod Gupta: A Story of Fake PR 2023
This is a user-generated post. Gripeo does not take responsibility for accuracy of any statements made in this post.
Vinod Gupta was the CEO of InfoGROUP. He was charged by the SEC for fraud when he stole millions from the firm's investors.
3.1/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #149 in category Consumer Reviews
Before we get started with this review
Such posts are made possible by the collective efforts of our contributors. If you can provide any kind of insight into Vinod Gupta or a similar company/individual, then share your information with us using our secured form.

You can help us put a stop to online scams before they grow too big and end-up ruining thousands of lives. A scam is a scam, doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Now that this is out of the way, let’s get started with the review.

Vinod Gupta is the former CEO and chairman of Infogroup, which included the notorious firm infoUSA. Currently, he is a Managing General Partner at Everest Group. 

The Indian-American founder ran the database compilation firm for decades until the SEC caught hold of his shady activities and charged him with fraud

According to the SEC, Vinod Gupta was fraudulently spending millions of dollars of the company’s funds on his personal luxuries. This included 20 vehicles and a private jet.

 Without admitting or denying the allegations against him, Vinod Gupta settled the SEC’s charges. He accepted to pay around $4.3 million including $4.04 million in disgorgement, $1.14 million prejudgement interest, and a $2.24 million penalty. 

The SEC said that Gupta had stolen millions of dollars from InfoGroup’s shareholders. He treated the company “like it was his personal ATM”. 

Furthermore, the SEC highlighted that other company officials also abused their position of trust by looking the other way. 

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We look at 34 different data points when analyzing and rating online money-earning opportunities. Once the research on these data points is submitted, expert contributors reach out to the company’s customers and associates to get more insight into their operation. Finally, all the collected information is presented in the form of this expert review.

All the data is extracted from publicly available information and the sources are given in the transparency section at the bottom of every report.

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InfoFree.com: Vinod Gupta’s Latest Venture

InfoFree.com is the latest business launched by Vinod Gupta, unsurprisingly, this business has already received multiple allegations of being a scam.

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The 5-star reviews they’ve received on their Google listing are suspicious as well. The accounts which left these high ratings seem to be dummy accounts made by the PR team helping Vinod Gupta escape his past. This PR team seems to be helping Vinod by doing misleading press releases and posting interviews on major platforms.

InfoFree.com executives do not treat their employees well too. The employee review website Indeed.com has some shocking reviews on InfoFree.com:

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More on the SEC’s Complaint against Vinod Gupta:

The SEC filed its complaints against Vinod Gupta in 2007. They filed these complaints in federal district court in Nebraska, alleging that Vinod had improperly used the company’s funds on $3 million worth of personal jet travel for himself, family, and friends.

According to the complaint, he spent the money on travels in Italy, Cancun, and South Africa. 

Also, Vinod Gupta had used investors’ funds to pay $2.8 million in expenses related to his yacht and $1.3 million on credit card and other expenses related to 20 vehicles, 28 club memberships, and 3 personal life insurance policies. 

That’s not all.

The SEC discovered that Vinod had spent a lot of the company’s funds on purchasing homes around the US. 

Vinod and his immediate family had at least 9 houses in the US including Miami, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and Colorado. 

The SEC’s complaint alleged that Vinod didn’t inform infoGROUP’s other board members about his purchase of an acquisition target’s shares for his illicit profits. 

Created in the wake of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a stand-alone entity under the control of the American federal government. Enforcing the legislation prohibiting market manipulation is the SEC’s main objective.

Apart from Gupta, the SEC had also charged the company’s internal auditors who kept approving his expense reimbursement requests. Also, the auditors falsely claimed in their representation letters to the outside auditor that all the party transactions with Gupta’s entities were properly disclosed.

Another noteworthy detail is that Info misspent millions on domestic and international air travel for former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton. 

Note that Vinod Gupta has been a major donor to Democrats. He gave around a million dollars to Bill Clinton’s presidential library in Arkansans

If you have sensitive information or have had a personal experience with Vinod Gupta but want to stay anonymous, then submit it using our secured form. You can connect with our expert contributors and help in finding the truth. We never share your information with 3rd parties.

Vinod stepped down as the CEO of the firm after these allegations. However, apart from stealing from the investors, Vinod has helped scammers steal from US citizens as well:

How Vinod Gupta’s Firm Aided Scammers in Stealing from the Elderly:

Telemarketing scams are a major issue. In such scams, callers posing as government and insurance workers contact senior citizens to get their personal information. 

These scams have been going on for decades and have evolved significantly. 

You might wonder, “Where do these scammers get the details of these elderly citizens?”

They get their data from companies like infoUSA. 

In fact, the New York Times ran a story on how infoUSA was helping telemarketing scams expand their operations by selling them the data on various veterans and senior citizens:

Vinod Gupta

They highlighted the story of Richard Guthrie, a 92-year-old veteran who ended up on the scammers’ list. infoUSA had sold his name and related data along with millions of others to telemarketing criminals. 

NYT pointed out that InfoUSA advertised lists of “Elderly Opportunity Seekers” who were looking for ways to make money. This was a list of 3.3 million older people. 

Then, they advertised a list of “Suffering Seniors”. It was a list of 4.7 people with cancer or Alzheimer’s. Another advertised list was “Oldies but Goodies” which contained the details of 500,000 gambles of over 55 years old. InfoUSA advertised the list saying “These people are gullible, they want to believe they can change their luck.

InfoUSA sold the data of the elderly under the leadership of Vinod Gupta

The database company sold these details for 8.5 cents per name. Some of the lists cost 6 cents per name. 

Also, the interviewed victim highlighted that he looked forward to those calls. Since his wife passed away, Mr. Guhtrie didn’t have many people to talk to. However, he had no idea those scammers were stealing from him. 

Vinod Gupta’s company didn’t face any legal repercussions for helping with telemarketing scams either. 

The New York Times reported at the time that neither the bank nor InfoUSA stopped working with the criminals. Even when the authorities warned Vinod Gupta’s firm that they were aiding criminals, they kept selling more databases. 

Scammers stole $100,000 from Mr. Guthrie who was one of the millions the scammers targeted. 

2.5
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Vinod Gupta

How Vinod Gupta’s InfoUSA Sold the Data of Millions of Senior Citizens

The list brokering industry is quite a large sector. Initially, list brokerage firms like Vinod Gupta’s InfoUSA would only serve legitimate customers like catalog companies and magazines. 

But InfoUSA started selling its data to telemarketing criminals too. 

At the time of NYT’s reporting, InfoUSA maintained records on 210 million Americans. According to the records of the Iowa attorney general, Vinod’s company had helped sell lists to companies that were under investigation or had been prosecuted for fraud

For example, Vinod Gupta’s company sold a list titled “Astoluck” dozens of times to notorious companies like HMS Direct. 

The Canadian Authorities had sued HMS Direct for deceptive mailings. Similarly, it sold the Astroluck to Alimbow which the Swiss authorities were prosecuting for a lottery scam

Iowa’s records show that InfoUSA had sold thousands of other elderly Americans’ names to Windfall Investments which the FBI accused of stealing $600,000 from an elderly lady. 

During all this time, Vinod Gupta was the CEO and Chairman of the company. There’s no doubt that he was well aware of his company’s shady business activities. 

Some More Scams Who Bought Data from InfoUSA:

Under his leadership, the company sold lists to World Marketing Service, a company that a judge shut down for running lottery scams. 

During his tenure as the CEO, they sold data to Atlas Marketing, which a court closed for selling $86 million of fake business opportunities.

Also, they had sold data to Emerald Marketing Enterprises which the authorities have investigated multiple times but never charged them.

As the CEO of InfoUSA, Vinod Gupta helped scammers get data on millions of veterans and retired professionals. Why didn’t the authorities ever look into him for these illicit activities?

Probably because of his high net worth and contacts. 

After all, Vinod Gupta had spent millions of InfoUSA’s funds on entertaining the Clintons during an international visit. 

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Verdict:

After going through his professional history, it’s obvious that Vinod Gupta is a fraudster. 

He stole millions from his company’s investors and lived lavishly for years. As the CEO of InfoUSA, he sold the data of millions of elderly Americans to telemarketing scammers. 

What’s worse is that the authorities have only looked into him for stealing from his company. Vinod Gupta has faced no repercussions for helping scammers steal from retired professionals and veterans. 

Will the authorities ever look into Vindo Gupta again? 

2.3 Total Score
A Fraud

Vinod Gupta is currently a Managing General Partner at Everest Group. He used to be the CEO of InfoGroup and InfoUSA until the SEC caught him stealing millions from the company’s investors. Under his leadership, InfoUSA sold the personal information of millions of elderly Americans to telemarketing scams.

3.1Expert Score
Trust
2.5
Experience
3.5
Honesty
3
Ethics
3.5
1.5User's score
Trust
1.3
Experience
1.6
Honesty
1.6
Ethics
1.8
PROS
  • None
CONS
  • Charged for fraud by the SEC
  • Misspent millions of investors’ money on personal luxuries
  • Sold the data of many senior citizens to scammers
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The Truth About Vinod Gupta: A Story of Fake PR 2023
The Truth About Vinod Gupta: A Story of Fake PR 2023

13 Comments
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. How the company didn’t know about the money being stolen and did not ask the managers about the loss in the funds? As published by the author the total sum of money being stolen is around 5-6 million dollars. This is not possible without the involvement of other members from InfoUSA. Vinod Gupta needs to be punished.

  2. 0.75
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    20
    Honesty
    10
    Ethics
    20

    Why hasn’t the company filed cases in different courts claiming all their lost money to be returned, as Infofree has only let Vinod enjoy all the luxury now it’s time to get back all the money and make him sent back to the prison where he belongs!

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. Instead of getting punished for his crimes Vinod Gupta is enjoying his life and not being placed in court and getting the result for his crimes.

  4. Vinod Gupta wasn’t completely involved in the development of Infogroup, as his main business was to scam US citizens through InfoUSA, he was using Infofree as a bank account for his personal use.

  5. 1
    Trust
    20
    Experience
    20
    Honesty
    20
    Ethics
    20

    No other country has the highest security level as compared to the USA but how come InfoUSA managed to commit this crime, being out of range? As It was reported if any bicycle is stolen the police of the USA can find it in a couple of days, but this was strange about Vinod Gupta. As an outsider I can only suspect corruption.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  6. InfoUSA was selling the soft data to Infofree so that it would be easy for these scammers to commit fraud with the veterans and old people. This scam was covered by the news agencies in the USA and also an alert was published by the government to stay away from these fraudsters.

  7. Here people are not able to send their kids to private universities for further studies and people like Vinod Gupta are scamming people and spending that stolen money on their luxury. These scammers should be imprisoned for committing crimes like these.

  8. Let us assume that you are stealing the data of citizens and selling it to scammers in the USA, it sounds like a joke, the country which takes care of the crime globally, isn’t able to punish a scammer committing fraud in their own country.

  9. 0.75
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Honesty
    20
    Ethics
    20

    When my brother was working with Infofree he told me that When Vinod Gupta was working in this company he enjoyed a luxurious life buying numerous cars and spending on traveling in a private jet after stealing millions from the company.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  10. Reply
    Vinod Gupta is a fraud
    November 18, 2022 at 3:42 am
    0.6
    Trust
    20
    Experience
    10
    Honesty
    10
    Ethics
    10

    The confidence of this scammer Vinod Gupta is really appreciable. The b@st@rd had spent around 4 million dollars related to his personal luxury and life insurance. He used to pay the bills from the funds of the company.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  11. 0.85
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    20
    Honesty
    20
    Ethics
    20

    Vinod Gupta stole a ton of money from the people of Infogroup USA. He belongs behind bars. But because of his connections and wealth, he is living a lavish life free from any tensions.

    + PROS: None to mention
    - CONS: Fraud
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • When it comes to their online ratings of the company you will find they have 5-star ratings which are very suspicious, as my brother was searching for Vinod Gupta and scams related to him, surprisingly he found a five-star rating on his company named Infofree.

  12. 0.85
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    20
    Honesty
    20
    Ethics
    20

    Vinod Gupta is a huge scammer. Became of him, the people working at infogroup USA suffered a lot. Now, he is living a lavish life with the millions he stole from us. He belongs in jail.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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