TV pitchman, Kevin Trudeau, failed to convince a federal judge of his proclaimed poverty and inability to pay $37.6 million to the folks who ended up being tricked by his book’s phony infomercials weight loss claims. Kevin pitched his book on late-night infomercials. Mr. Trudeau appeared shaken during the court hearing to determine his fate for delaying payment of the daunting civil judgment. It was handed down by Judge Robert Gettleman in November, 2009.
“There are no more assets to turn over, your honor,” Trudeau stated in court. “I’m going to be incarcerated … and I don’t know what to do.”
Judge Gettleman was rather terse with Trudeau, disallowing the defendant’s desperate proclamations of poverty. At the conclusion of the appeal, Gettleman stated, “I haven’t seen any new information, only resistance. This has to end.” This pronouncement came after four years of balking on Trudeau’s part to accept his responsibility in the defrauding of his television viewers.
Trudeau led his audience to believe that someone, referred to as “they”, was not telling them the truth about how to lose those extra pounds. One of his titles proclaimed: “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” Apparently, the court found that there was no “they” and that Trudeau intentionally deceived the readers who loyally bought his series of books.
The infomercials contained “undeniably false” statements, according to Judge Gettleman, including the claim that the diet could be done easily and at home. Gettleman also found that the diet “required colonics, which must be done in the office of a licensed practitioner;” and that injections of human growth hormone were also a necessary part of the regimen. The infomercial said the diet required no exercise, and only demanded one hour of walking out-of-doors each day.
In a culture, in which a great majority of people are prone to obesity, if not morbidly so, Trudeau may have been the puppet master manipulating his infomercial followers by taking grave advantage of their vulnerability to diet fads and formulas. Trudeau is not the first to fool the public with get skinny quick schemes, but his deception about the science of his diet and health plan put him at a disadvantage with Judge Gettleman.
Trudeau’s reputation for treachery has allegedly resulted in the Federal Trade Commission taking legal remedies against him a total of four times on behalf of the American people. The FTC’s war with Trudeau began in 1998. Trudeau was charged with making what a commission statement calls “false and misleading claims in infomercials for products he claimed could cause significant weight loss and cure addictions to heroin, alcohol, and cigarettes, and enable users to achieve a photographic memory.” Then, in later years, the FTC charged him with falsely claiming in infomercials that Coral Calcium Supreme could cure cancer.
One reviewer of Trudeau’s claims, J. P. Ortiz, of San Diego, CA wrote; “I found nothing but regurgitated information already available on the internet for free. This book is filled with a lot of useless information and anything slightly useful as I mentioned is available on the internet for free…Really don’t waste your money, you will be sorry you bought the book.”
While infomercials star, Trudeau, has duped desperate people into spending millions of dollars on his books, he now proclaims to be an impoverished victim of his own pitchmanship, and Federal Judge Robert Gettleman is not buying it.
Written By: Lisa M Pickering
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