A telemarketer who was convicted of ripping off the elderly appeared in what he thought was a new game show, only to be confronted by his victims who were secretly waiting in the audience.
Roger VanDoren spent a year in prison for his role in a boiler room type land scam that made millions by scamming elderly people across 41 states.
“It was beyond a rip off. It was a scam. They literally stole millions from innocent victims. It’s heartbreaking,” said John Petruzzi a former investigator with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, who broke up the telemarketing ring VanDoren was part of.
One couple told INSIDE EDITION that they lost $7,000 to VanDoren’s land scam, while three sisters say their father, who suffers from dementia, lost $30,000. One 76-year-old lady claimed she lost $4,000.
VanDoren traveled from his home in upstate New York to Manhattan where he thought he was competing in a game show called “The Game of Fame.”
The mock game show was part of an investigation by IE’s Lisa Guerrero, who served as host, and featured movie trivia questions - but unlike VanDoren, the other contestants knew the game wasn’t real. Inside Edition invited some of VanDoren’s victims and their relatives, who sat in the audience.
After answering a few easy questions, Guerrero gave this reveling clue in the final round: “He's the slick telemarketer who took advantage of vulnerable senior citizens in a classic land scam that made millions.”
She then turned to VanDoren and said, “Roger, does this sound familiar at all to you? The answer is you: Roger VanDoren! And this isn't actually ‘The Game of Fame” it’s “The Game of Shame!”
Guerrero revealed she was not a game show host and she and the victims wished to speak to him in person.
One of VanDoren’s victims, James Corder, stood up in the audience and said: “Roger, I still feel like you should be in prison.”
Judie Sweeney, whose father lost $30,000, said: “Our dad was one of the thousands of seniors who were hurt.”
“How do you sleep at night?” another victim, Patricia Ryan, asked.
Guerrero asked: “Roger, do you have anything to say to the people that were some of your victims?”
“No, not at all. Thanks,” he replied as he stormed off the set. But he did have a parting message for his victims.
“Here’s what I got to say, Go f*** yourself.”