Matthew Lesko.

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Riddle me this: Who is the top intelligence agent in Washington? Answer: Matthew Lesko (“The Question Mark Guy” is also acceptable).

Once a ubiquitous television presence in infomercials touting his tomes on how to get “FREE MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT,” Lesko, who turns 80 this month, has spent the last half century becoming America’s number one trader in government information. Attired in suits festooned with question marks, there is nothing clandestine, covert, or confidential about the man or the information he sells. Nor is any of it original. Just as he raided Frank Gorshin’s wardrobe, Lesko raided government information manuals to produce his best-selling reference books. He has “authored” over 100 such books, each one containing regurgitated information on how to obtain stipends, grants, services, loans, and other forms of government assistance.

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