He's also a scammer.
Back in 2014, Whitaker joined the advisory board of a Miami Beach scam company called World Patent Marketing (they were later shut down and fined $26,000,000 by the FTC) (the company is under investigation by the FBI). World Patent Marketing charged inventors to help them bring their products to market, accepting bizarre patents for unworkable products that were never actually manufactured, bilking their customers out of thousands of dollars each.
Whitaker actively defended World Patent Marketing against its critics, citing his credentials as a former US Attorney as a reason to trust that World Patent Marketing was on the up-and-up (Whitaker denies any knowledge of the company's wrongdoing).
Among the products that World Patent Marketing marketed were: a "masculine toilet" for guys with giant dicks, designed to keep their fantastic members from coming into contact with the porcelain; a time-traveling Bitcoin-based commodity ("Time Travel X"); and sasquatch dolls whose marketing campaign included an assertion that "DNA evidence collected in 2013 proves that Bigfoot does exist."
Whitaker served on World Patent Marketing's advisory board alongside a mixed-martial artist, a failed Central African Republic politician, and other motley characters.
Whitaker used his status as a former US Attorney to intimidate the company's critics, sending them threatening letters promising legal retribution if they continued to speak out against the company's fraudulent business-practices.
Key Democrats in the incoming House of Representatives have announced their intention to investigate Whitaker.
Whitaker remained on the advisory board as allegations mounted that the the company was engaging in fraud. In January 2015, ripoffreport.com posted an account from a user who claimed to be an ex-employee of World Patent Marketing. The user accused the firm of duping customers into paying thousands of dollars for "invention royalty analysis" and other fees while promising them millions of dollars in returns they had "no chance" of getting. In December 2016, the company was hit with a class-action lawsuit accusing it of fraud. (The case is on hold while the Federal Trade Commission action moves forward.)
The company's founder, Scott Cooper, used Whitaker's status as a former US attorney to burnish the firm's reputation and intimidate critics. (Cooper and his wife each donated the maximum $2,600 to Whitaker's failed Senate bid in 2013.) Responding to disgruntled customers online and by email, Cooper repeatedly cited "former US Attorneys" on his advisory council, though Whitaker appears to have been the only ex-US attorney involved.
In an August 2015 email, Whitaker invoked his status as a former US attorney to threaten a man who was planning to file a Better Business Bureau complaint against the company. "There could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you," Whitaker wrote in the email, first reported by the Miami New Times.
The acting attorney general helped an alleged scam company hawk bizarre products [Dan Friedman/Mother Jones]
(Image: Dirtyboxface, CC-BY-SA)