Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau Finally Gets Prison for Scamming

Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau Finally Gets Prison for Scamming

Kevin Trudeau, the informercial scam artist is nailed

Kevin Trudeau is caught. Sometimes I wish I made this stuff up. Then, maybe, I’d feel less aggravated. Kevin Trudeau had some nerve, didn’t he? The late-night infomercial king, whose bestselling diet book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” sold some 850,000 copies, was, after irreverently bucking the legal system for years, sentenced by a jury on Monday to 10 years in prison.

Trudeau was found guilty of defrauding some 850,000 Americans who bought the sham-diet-tip-filled book, netting him nearly $40 million, reports Bloomberg Business.

The 50-year old man, who has no medical credential or certification, mind you, advised readers in his book to complete a four-step process involving everything from limiting daily calories to a paltry 500 to undergoing liver and kidney cleanses. He even recommended injecting an enzyme found in human urine, the hormone called choriongonadotropin, which — yep, you guessed it — is not approved in the U.S. as a weight-loss treatment, reports The Daily Mail.

Trudeau apparently wasn’t phased when the Federal Trade Commission first caught wind of his actions and went after him in 1998. At that time, he was prohibited from airing any more fraudulent ads regarding his quack diet book and was ordered to pay $37 million. But he didn’t pay up, claiming he didn’t have that money. He lost his house, his business and most of his earthly possessions.


Undeterred, Trudeau didn’t stop running those late-night specials, either (complete with their shady fake-news-interview format). Nope. He ran that dang infomercial (hold your breath) 32,000 more (as in additional) times after that court order, said prosecutors. Uh-huh, three zeros there, that’s correct.

Back in November, the “huckster,” as U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman referred to him, was convicted of criminal contempt because he defied the 2004 court order.

Trudeau had the gall to apologize, saying, “If I ever do an infomercial again … I promise, no embellishments, no puffery, no lies.”

Are you out of your mind, thinking you will ever go near a television camera again? But, well, with YouTube being what it is, and so on and so forth, we likely have not seen the last of Trudeau on film. Sure, he’ll be wrinkled and pepper-haired, but he’ll be back (keep those purses snapped shut!).

Trudeau’s lawyer sought inpirsonment for less than two years, arguing that the only harm done was conning consumers into spending $30 on a bogus book (on one book? that’s a veritable fortune in today’s era of .99-cent-special e-books). Never mind advising people to inject themselves with hormones and starve. No remorse, I tell you. And no respect for the human body, or human beings, for that matter.

I’m losing all sorts of faith here (I mean, best seller? really?), so you’ll have to bear with me here, Dears. If you feel the urge to buy a weight-loss diet book (even though you and I both know that diets don’t work), how about a little checklist to run through first (that is if you must, must, must waste your money)?


___Title preys on consumer fears (say, dying fat and miserable and alone)

___Book contains no bibliography or primary source attribution (such as, “according to the CDC, IOM, American Heart Association or a study in XYZ journal by YEP university”)

___Book contains no reporting with real, legit anecdotal sources (so what does it feel like to stick yourself in the arm every day with a mystery hormone: fine? normal? are you sure? … are you an alien?)

___Book cites no opinions and research that goes against the arguments and advice of the author (the other side)

___Book contains no credentialed sources, such as nutritionists and/or doctors, RDs, MDs, PhDs (this is not elitist, sweeties, this is safe, especially if you’re pondering puncture wounds)

___You won’t feel comfortable telling a friend or family member you bought this book, or what this book is telling readers to do (hey, I’d want to keep colonics to myself, too, but secrecy is usually a sign you know you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing)


OK, thanks for reading that. I know you know better, but I feel better now that we’ve gotten back to and covered the basics. If the book on the TV screen or in your hand meets two or three of the listed criteria, put down that phone! Put that book back on the shelf! And, even if you find a book that survives the checklist, it’s still a good idea to consult your doctor before even considering something colonic or hormonal or otherwise wacky in treatment. I know that most people don’t, but at least mention it to someone. Can’t? Embarrassed? Feel silly? Want to hide what you’re considering? Then plunk that 30 bucks into a mutual fund share or, hell, even a pedicure instead. The odds of improvement and results will be much more in your favor.

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