Kevin Trudeau Gets A $5 Million Colonic

Multimillionaire infomercial mogul Kevin Trudeau has been fined for all the royalties generated by his book, The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You To Know About. That comes to about $5.2 million and it couldn't have happened to a nicer charlatan. Trudeau has a storied past with the law, mostly from the FTC bringing him to court to put an end to his false advertising practices.

In 2004, the FTC fined Trudeau $2 million and banned him from selling anything on the air other than legitimate products.
A Federal Trade Commission settlement with Kevin Trudeau – a prolific marketer who has either appeared in or produced hundreds of infomercials – broadly bans him from appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service, or program to the public, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications. In addition, Trudeau cannot make disease or health benefits claims for any type of product, service, or program in any advertising, including print, radio, Internet, television, and direct mail solicitations, regardless of the format and duration.
In hindsight, they should have banned him completely. Trudeau was back on the air, but this time he avoided making claims for magic cure-alls. Rather, he said he knew the secret for curing what ails you and all you had to do was go visit his website and buy his book. He's a smooth, convincing talker and many people took the bait. His website turned out to be a teaser. It offered no real useful information up front. For the good stuff, you had to sign in...and you had to pay. And pay. And pay.

In his infomercials, Trudeau claimed that it was easy to lose weight. You could eat whatever you wanted and it didn't involve exercise and it could be done in the comfort of your home. All you had to do was buy his book and follow the procedure he outlined. Only, the procedure wasn't easy. It was a crazy regimen of colonics, injections of human growth hormone (both of which should not be done at home), eating only natural foods (i.e. you couldn't really eat anything you wanted), walking for an hour each day (which is otherwise called exercise), etc. For this, Trudeau was hauled back into court in 2007 for violating his 2004 orders by misrepresenting the contents of his book in informercials. Trudeau lost again and promptly appealed.

In October 2008, the courts upheld the earlier ruling and Trudeau was fined for the amount of royalties on his book and completely banned him from making infomercials and publishing books for three years! From the FTC press release:
In August, Judge Robert W. Gettleman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois stood by his conclusion in 2007 that Trudeau "clearly, and no doubt intentionally," violated a provision of a 2004 stipulated court order that prohibits Trudeau from misrepresenting the content of books in his infomercials. The judge stated that "the Infomercial[s] falsely and intentionally led thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of consumers to believe that the Weight Loss Book would describe an 'easy,' 'simple' protocol that, once 'finished' would allow the consumer to 'eat anything' he or she wants."
I don't know if Trudeau has any other legal options to fight this ruling. If he does, I'm sure he'll pursue them. In the meantime, he shouldn't be hurting for money. I'm sure he can find something useful in his latest book, Debt Cures 'They' Don't Want You To Know About.

For more information, see
Consumer Reports
Ridiculous Infomercial Review
WebSupp - for the latest in case law

And finally, whatever you do, don't forget to check out this hard-hitting interview. Your very life may depend on it.

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