Matthew Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker at a Justice Department roundtable in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 29. (Photo: Getty Images)

Matthew Whitaker, who was appointed acting attorney general of the United States last week by President Trump, sat on the advisory board of a scam company that touted toilet seats for well-endowed men and cryptocurrency that could be used for time travel, among other unlikely products.

World Patent Marketing charged aspiring inventors large fees to promote their products and promised help in securing patents. Federal authorities consider the company to be a scam. A judge shut it down last year and ordered that $26 million in restitution be paid to customers. The Federal Trade Commission found that World Patent Marketing "bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars." The company settled in March.

Last Friday, the FBI said it was investigating Whitaker's company. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI's Miami office said they were looking into the fraud claims against World Patent Marketing.

As acting attorney general, Whitaker oversees the FBI.

 

Between 2014 and 2016, Whitaker was an active participant in the company's business. He defended World Patent Marketing against critics and appeared in at least one promo video for the company. For this and other duties, he was paid at least $9,375, reports Mother Jones. Other advisory board members returned their payments after the fraud judgment was handed down. Whitaker has not.

It's possible that's because Whitaker was a true believer in products represented by World Patent Marketing. Those included a "Masculine Toilet," which was specially shaped to help "well-endowed men" avoid contact with water when seated on it. "The average male genitalia is between 5" and 6"," said the firm’s press release. "However, this invention is designed for those of us who measure longer than that." That same press release touted World Patent Marketing's appointment of "Matthew G. Whitaker, former Iowa US Attorney and Republican candidate for United States Senate to the company’s advisory board."

Among other products, World Patent Marketing promoted Time Travel X, a "theoretical time travel commodity tied directly to price of Bitcoin" and Sasquatch dolls, which were hyped with a video claiming that DNA evidence proves Bigfoot exists.

Within 48 hours of his appointment, Whitaker came under fire for his previous vocal criticisms of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, which he now oversees; his scant qualifications to become the nation's top lawyer; his connection to World Patent Marketing; and for Trump's subversion of the Justice Department's legally mandated succession plan in appointing him. A growing chorus of legal experts say the latter makes Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional.

In a Wednesday interview with the conservative website the Daily Caller, Trump essentially admitted that he appointed Whitaker to end Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign's potential conspiracy with it.

Mueller's investigation now reports directly to Whitaker.