Cheesy Fred Thompson goofs big-time with radio ads for LifeLock.
Is Fred Thompson smokin' crack? On the same day the Law and Order star and former Senator is incorporating his presidential committee in Nashville, Tenn., we learn that he's also shilling for scumbag Robert Maynard, founder of the identity theft company LifeLock, located in Tempe, AZ. Maynard's the subject of a blockbuster expose by New Times reporter Ray Stern, who reveals Maynard's shady, duplicitous past in lurid detail. And yet Thompson's stentorian vocals "will grace 60-second ads for [LifeLock] on radio networks nationwide," according to a story in today's Boston Globe.
This obvious lack of vetting on the part of Thompson and his people threatens a major embarrassment that could derail the honeymoon Thompson's currently enjoying with the press and Republicans. The Globe article suggests Thompson's doing the ad "because LifeLock has a special offer for servicemen and women deployed around the world." But once those servicemen read Stern's hard-hitting investigative piece on LifeLock mogul Maynard and his scummy past, they'll be thinking twice about that "special offer."[jump]
LifeLock offers a service for $10 a month that most people could pretty much do on their own: Inform the major credit reporting bureaus that you want your account red-flagged for fraud. Stern's story tells you how you can do it without LifeLock's help, while dishing all the dirt on Robert Maynard. The guy's filed for bankruptcy at least three times. His previous firm National Credit Foundation was sued by the state of AZ and the FTC for fraud and misrepresentation. Federal court records state that Maynard and other execs at NCF obtained clients' banking info. and "withdrew funds from consumers' checking accounts without authorization." Authorities shut NCF down in the early '90s, and there's a Federal Court Order forbidding Maynard from working in the credit-repair industry indefinitely.
(Maynard, of course, has never admitted wrongdoing. He dodged a chance to defend himself when scribe Stern phoned him.)
Maynard even took advantage of his own father, Dr. Robert Maynard, Sr., who admits "veracity is a problem" for his son. See, Maynard, Jr. used his father's identity to open an account with American Express without the knowledge of Maynard Sr., racking up over $154K in unpaid bills on the AE card. Yep, the guy whose company promises to protect you from identity theft was once himself a practitioner of the art form.
Both Maynard and LifeLock CEO Todd Davis like to tell this bogus story about how Maynard was once arrested for failing to pay back a $16K casino loan that he never took out because someone stole his identity. Problem is, Maynard actually did take out that casino marker, so the arrest was 100% legit. This, according to the D.A. of Clark County, Nevada.
Why would Thompson want to associate himself with a bottom feeder like Maynard? Not that he's the only celeb who's pimped Maynard's company. There's also sleezemeister Howard Stern, estwhile OxyContin addict Rush Limbaugh, and radio dinosaur Paul Harvey, for whom Thompson has subbed on occasion. Maybe Thompson got hooked up with Maynard's outfit through Harvey somehow. Thompson's peeps didn't immediately return calls for comment.
Personally, I've never been able to take Thompson seriously. He comes across as a real fat-head on TV, like he's making it all up as he's going along. A big, Foghorn Leghorn-phony baloney. This kissy-face time he's having with the media will be over soon. Perhaps sooner, should his ties to Robert Maynard prove more profound than a few ill-advised radio ads.