The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a contempt ruling against Kevin Trudeau but ordered the lower court to reconsider its penalties. Since 1998, the FTC has charged Trudeau with false advertising and obtained consent agreements several times. In 2006, he began using infomercials to market The Weight-Loss Cure "They" Don't Want Your to Know About. The supposed "cure" was centered around the use of injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). However, scientific studies demonstrated that HCG injections didn't cause weight loss and regulatory actions by the FTC and FDA have curbed their use in the United States. In September 2007, the FTC charged Trudeau with violating a 2004 consent agreement by misrepresenting the book's contents and asked the Illinois Federal Court to hold him in contempt. The court did so, banned him, for three years, from involvement in any infomercials for publications in which he has a financial interest, and ordered him to disgorge $37,616,161, which the judge said was a reasonable approximation of the loss consumers suffered as a result of Trudeau’s deceptive infomercials. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed that Trudeau had misrepresented the book's contents. However, the appeals judge said that the lower court judge had failed to explain how he had calculated the penalty and that a three-year ban without an opportunity for reinstatement upon good behavior was too harsh for a civil contempt ruling. The lower court still has wide discretion in setting penalties and could consider a criminal contempt finding if Trudeau is given an adequate opportunity to defend himself against such a charge. Casewatch has posted the relevant documents.$37.6 million? Doesn't seem high enough for the likes of Kevin Trudeau. This guy should be living on the streets!
Kevin Trudeau's Appeal
The following is from the excellent Consumer Health Digest #09-36: