If you have ever suffered a case of insomnia and gotten up in the middle of the night, and turned on the television…what you are likely to see are old reruns of some long ago TV series or some infomercial.  If you are not sure what an infomercial is…it’s usually some guy and gay trying to entice you into buying the latest and greatest product in the world.  It does not matter what it is…a vacuum cleaner, a table top cooking machine, a mop that picks up everything, or a book on how to get free money.

I have noticed a pattern though…if the guy (the pitchman) has an Australian accent or the accompanying female swoons over everything the guy (the pitchman) says…then you are probably watching an infomercial.  The other thing that you will notice is that if you see enough of these infomercials, you will see the same individuals hawking all kinds of different products.  Remember the products may be different, but the message (the pitch) is always the same…this (product) is something that you cannot live without

These people are nothing more than televised con men selling their merchandise to unsuspecting people who are taken in by their smooth talking claims.

Well, the slow wheels of justice have finally done something good in its ongoing fight to bring these purveyors of fraud to justice.

A federal judge has found author and infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau in contempt of court for failing to pay a more than $37 million fine imposed over misleading ads for one of his wildly popular weight-loss books.

The ruling was the latest round in more than a decade of legal battles that began with a suit filed by the Federal Trade Commission.  The FTC alleged some of Trudeau’s informercials included false and misleading statements about his books.  A federal judge in Chicago agreed and ordered him to stop.  Then in 2007, Judge Robert Gettleman fined Trudeau $37.6 million for violating the order.

On Friday of last week, Judge Gettleman said Trudeau failed to pay and ordered him to transfer ownership of companies and financial accounts to a court-appointed receiver.  The judge also found him in contempt, opting not to give him jail time out of concern that those hurt by his actions would never get compensated.  He called Trudeau a puppet master in control of a vast network being used to keep his assets hidden and suggested that without his cooperation there would be no way to get at that money.

Despite no formal medical training and several criminal convictions, Trudeau has sold millions of books offering cures for dozens of ailments, from faltering memory to hair loss.  They have titles such as “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” the book at the center of his latest legal trouble.

The FTC first sued Trudeau in 1998, charging that he made false and unsubstantiated claims in infomercials for hair growth, memory and weight-loss products.  In 2003, the agency sued Trudeau for deceptively marketing a calcium product as a cancer cure and a product called Biotape as a pain reliever.

Trudeau paid $2 million in 2004 to settle the FTC’s charges and agreed to comply with a court order banning him from infomercials except those that accurately promote books.

Three years later, the judge held Trudeau in civil contempt for misrepresenting some of the facts in an ad for his best-selling weight-loss book, namely that the diet plan was easy and allowed adherents to eat anything they wanted.  After purchasing the book, however, the FTC alleged that consumers discover it “requires severe dieting,” daily injections of a prescription drug not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for weight loss and “lifelong dietary restrictions.”

It is not the first time Gettleman has declared Trudeau in contempt.

The judge in 2010 sentenced Trudeau to 30 days in jail and fined him $5,000 for criminal contempt after the pitchman urged his supporters to contact the judge and vouch for the benefits of his books, which caused the judge’s e-mail to lock up and many of the emails were considered to be threatening in nature.

Yesterday, Judge Gettleman in Chicago sent infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau to jail for violating court orders to stop his over-the-top spending and pay a more than $37 million fine.

Trudeau has claimed he has no money to pay the fine, but evidence was presented that Trudeau has recently spent $900 at a liquor store, $920 on cigars and $359 on two haircuts.

Judge Robert Gettleman told Trudeau to discuss his assets with a court-appointed receiver while in jail and return to court on Thursday.  Judge Gettleman told Trudeau: “This is not an infomercial. You can’t talk your way out of this.”

So, we will see who wins the nest round…my money is on (the pitchman).

 

Advertisements