Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Found In Contempt Of Court

Kevin Trudeau, well known for all sorts of cons over the years—his most recent one was this diet book—was found in contempt of court last week by a U.S. District Court judge for violating his permanent 2004 injunction.

The Court found that Trudeau violated the permanent injunction when he misrepresented the contents of his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” in several infomercials. The permanent injunction banned Trudeau from using infomercials to sell any product, service, or program. The ban contained a narrow exemption for infomercials for books and other publications, but specifically required that Trudeau not misrepresent the content of the books.

He did indeed misrepresent his book—his “easy to follow” diet required injections, colonics, bizarre and ever-changing menus, and a lifetime commitment to maintain the target weight—assuming you ever reach it.

His 2004 permanent injunction was caused by a calcium product he was peddling that he said could cure cancer, and an analgesic that he said could permanently cure pain.

The Court hasn’t yet determined “the appropriate contempt remedy,” so we’ll wait anxiously to find out his new fate, although we figure if he ends up in prison it will look something like this:

con_georgebluthinprison-1.jpg

“Federal Court Finds Kevin Trudeau in Civil Contempt” [Federal Trade Commission]

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Comments

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  1. Fujikopez says:

    HAHAHA I hate this asshole. He’s ripped off so many gullible and vulnerable people.

  2. foghat81 says:

    kudos for the AD pic! I miss that show every single day

  3. Charred says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

  4. Master Update Exception says:

    I could have used his magic potions that rid the body of pain this past Thanksgiving when was forced to ingest things that I’d rather not talk about.

    In other news, any story that has George Sr. in it wins in my book.

    NO TOUCHING!

  5. Tigerman_McCool says:

    Dude needs his ass beat…just a bold faced con man.

  6. RvLeshrac says:

    He’ll be back, because people as a whole are stupid, and eat up the antiscientific ‘holistic’ and ‘homeopathic’ BS.

    (Waiting for the obligatory ‘But homeopathy works!’ and ‘I tried his cures and they worked for me!’ posts)

  7. kimsama says:

    @foghat81: LOL Trudeau can sell his own version of “Jail Bars” now — I doubt they’ll be made from banana, though — maybe human growth hormone?

  8. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    He looks like Patrick Duffy’s doppleganger in that pic.

    This clown’s infomercial is always on tv.

  9. wonderboy says:

    This gentleman was taken to task in the Jan/Feb 2006 Skeptical Inquirer where each claim of one of his infomercials was thoroughly rebuked. I was embarrassed to see one of Trudeau’s books being offered at a local Costco a while back.

  10. lonelymaytagguy says:

    God, I hate that man. My last name starts with T and it isn’t Thompson.

  11. spookyooky says:

    Who needs homeopathic weight loss cures? I prefer to be gutted like a fish and have my upper G.I. tract removed. Now that’s some good science right there.

  12. wonderboy says:

    btw: here is the article i mentioned above. [www.csicop.org]

  13. Kifune says:

    I work part-time out of my home as a virtual call center representative — basically taking order calls for all sorts of informercial products, primarily. For a while, it seemed like I was the Kevin queen, all I got were calls for his crap. Either people are wising up or he has saturated the market or all this negative publicity has worked, because less and less do I get those calls. Thank god, because it turned my stomach taking those orders. While I don’t have a lot of pity for people lame enough to buy into his scam, still, it was hard to have much integrity about it.

  14. bohemian says:

    @RVLESHRAC, it depends on what you classify as holistic or homeopathic. There are plenty of things that are recommended by mainstream doctors because they have been proven to be beneficial by reliable sources that might get tagged as homeopathic. Things like magnesium or fish oil are pretty well accepted in mainstream medicine for certain conditions.

    Anyone trying to sell you their secret formula or claiming they have the special cure for some chronic illness is a scam artist. Trudeau made money selling books to people desperate for a cure. Always beware of anyone who has money to gain off of convincing you to buy something.

  15. @Fujikopez: Yes, but to play devil’s advocate for a post, why are there people actually dumb enough to fall for that? Take that from a guy who has worked in the IT industry. Remember MSBlaster? Remember how the only way to get it was to open an email attachment? Enough said.

  16. badgerette says:

    But he has the secrets pharmaceutical companies don’t WANT us to KNOW. Ai. What a D Bag.

  17. Mayor McRib says:

    I think it’s a conspiracy! Trudeau was about to unleash his cure for herpes to the masses.

  18. RvLeshrac says:

    @bohemian:

    No, homepathic medicines don’t work. Ever. Period. End of story. Water does not have a ‘memory,’ and no amount of twitching and gyrating will grant it one.
    As Dr. Harriet Hall wrote in the latest Skeptic, regarding ‘Cures for the common cold':
    “Homeopathy uses occilococcinum: start with duck liver, dilute the duck out of it, and hope the water remembers the duck. In my opinion, all that leaves is a quack.”

    Natural substances are good for certain conditions, yes. When we find a natural substance that is an effective treatment, we typically study it to determine how it is effective (and whether or not it really IS effective), then refine it into a medicinal form designed to speed its absorption into the human body.

    ‘Holistic medicine’ simply assumes that a substance or treatment is effective because someone once said it was, with no experimental validation or control.

  19. Master Update Exception says:

    I could have used his magic potions that rid the body of pain this past Thanksgiving when was forced to ingest things that I’d rather not talk about.

    In other news, any story that makes mention of George Sr. wins in my book.

    NO TOUCHING!

  20. Indecision says:

    @RvLeshrac: “Waiting for the obligatory ‘But homeopathy works!’…”

    It does work! I know a guy who took a sip of distilled water, and died from an overdose of everything!

  21. RvLeshrac says:

    @Indecision:

    Good answer!

  22. SpdRacer says:

    The fact that people but this crap doesn’t surprise me, what does surprise me is that Johnny Law decided to do something about his con artist ass.

  23. wonderboy says:

    @RvLeshrac: nicely stated. also, when holistic “medicine” does appear to work, the placebo effect is largely (if not entirely) the reason for it’s apparent efficacy.

  24. SpdRacer says:

    bought

  25. SpdRacer says:

    He ruins late night TV!

  26. lemur says:

    @Mayor McRib: For sure his legal misadventures are going to be spun as proof that there is a conspiracy against him. How else can it be explained the the court finds his claims to be unsubstantiated? Conspiracy!

  27. B1663R says:

    unfortunately for me. my mother in law SWEARS by his books. even after I’ve showed he the lawsuits posted on credible sites and even the “truth by consensus” site Wikipedia.

    her typical response is, “its just the government trying to suppress the truth”

    i fear she is a lost cause and i will have to put her down shortly.

  28. TheSeeker says:

    @Kifune:

    How does one get a job like that?

  29. Snarkysnake says:

    Oh No.

    The king of infomercial scams is back and this time he’s flogging a book on personal finance…

    I was flipping through the ether of Dish Network this morning when I ran across America’s Favorite Swindler on no less than 3 channels hawking another of his worthless books- this time on on personal finance – Debt Cures. Same old Trudeau conspiracy bullshit, this mysterious “they” don’t want you to know how to pay off your credit cards,”they” are tricking you into going up to your bunghole in debt ,etc…

    Here’s something “he” doesn’t want you to know…”He’s” been the prison bitch a couple of times because “he” can’t keep his hands off of other peoples money… I would love to see this little cockroach put away for a long time,but it probably ain’t gonna happen. Look for another C&D… Maybe a fine…But people like him don’t get what they deserve.Little bastard…

  30. He does have some interesting ideas. But, dude, he’s a Mormon.

  31. bohemian says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    Maybe we are talking about different things. Most supplements are still categorized as natural or homeopathic even though they have some research to back them up and are seen as valid additions to standard medical care. If your talking about much of the new age mubmojumbo I agree with you.

    There are things like Arnica that is technically marketed at homeopathic but it is well known to have the ability to speed the healing of bruises or sore muscles. I’m not sure what homeopathy uses it for.

    Don’t throw out something just because it gets dragged into some out there version of homeopathy.

  32. Pfluffy says:

    Say what you will about his books, but they ARE very effective in starting a wonderfully warm campfire.

  33. BigNutty says:

    This guy is like a roach. You try to get rid of him and he keeps coming back. The FTC can’t even stop him. He laughs at the FTC and continues his same rip off ways.

    If the FTC would quit settling with him and force him out of the infomercial business altogether, maybe he would take his millions and go away.

  34. lonelymaytagguy says:

    Please don’t confuse Homeopathic medicine with Holistic.

    Holistic doctors believe besides treating the problem, they look at the whole person and perhaps, remove the cause, too.

    If you go to a holistic cardiologist (I know one), you’ll get heart drugs, stress tests, and surgery if you really need it, just like a non-holistic cardiologist. But, you’ll also receive advice on diet, exercise, vitamins, relaxation, and everything else that goes into keeping your heart and everything else, healthy.

  35. Indecision says:

    @lonelymaytagguy: “Please don’t confuse Homeopathic medicine with Holistic.”

    Yes, some people don’t seem to know what Homeopathy is.

    Homeopathy:

    1) Take a substance that causes symptoms similar to the disease you want to cure, and dilute it in water or alcohol.

    2) Take a small portion of the dilution, and dilute it even further. Continue doing so until the point where the best equipment available can no longer detect even a single molecule of the original substance.

    3) Sell your purified distilled water/alcohol as a cure.

    Wikipedia has a wonderful visualization of this as well (I’ve edited this heavily for length, but kept the meaning intact):

    Samuel Hahnemann (who developed Homeopathy in the late 1700s) advocated 30C dilutions for most purposes. The chances of a single molecule of the original substance remaining in a 15C dilution would be roughly 1 in 2 million, and less than one in a billion billion billion billion for a 30C solution. For a perspective on these numbers, there are in the order of 10^32 molecules of water in an Olympic size swimming pool. If such a pool were filled with a 15C homeopathic remedy, to expect to get a single molecule from the original substance, one would need to swallow 1% of the volume of such a pool, or roughly 25 metric tons of water.

    It’s worth noting that, in Hahnemann’s time, people were only just realizing that Phlogiston is not the substance responsible for fire.

  36. Freedomboy says:

    2 words – Magnetic shoes

  37. ironchef says:

    One thing to say to Kevin Trudeau

    [www.youtube.com]

  38. RvLeshrac says:

    @bohemian:

    You’re confused about the definition of Homeopathy. Vitamin and nutritional supplements are simply concentrated forms of various herbs and vitamins. While the effectiveness of herbal supplements is debatable, vitamin supplements are perfectly fine for those who are deficient in some area.

    Homeopathy involves taking a substance and diluting it to nothing but water. I don’t REALLY want to go into the math here, but even the most basic of homeopathic solutions virtually guarantees that you will never be able to ingest enough of the ‘medicine’ to encounter even a single molecule of the original substance. The maximum possible dilution, avogadro’s number, is 6×10^23, while many homepathic solutions are 10^30 or greater.

    Homeopathy also holds that the greater the dilution, the stronger the treatment. A homeopath believes that a dilution of 10^100 is far more powerful than a dilution of 1 (the original substance!).

    By this, a typical vitamin supplement, a concentrated form of the vitamin, would be considered useless.

    This does not deny that people might put a “homeopathic” label on (relatively) very small dilutions (10^2, 10^4), but these substances are not considered “homeopathic” by the homeopaths.

    @lonelymaytagguy:

    That’s simply allopathic medicine coupled with holism. Holistic medicine is different, though it is a confusing distinction. Holism *is* valid, since it treats a system as a whole, but Holistic Medicine is a category including such things such as Qi Gong, Acupuncture, and HTT (‘healing touch therapy,’ where a ‘trained’ nurse simply waves her hands over the patient).

  39. wonderboy says:

    @lonelymaytagguy: and also Holistic defined:

    Holistic medicine refers to alternative health practices that claim to treat “the whole person.” To holistic practitioners, a person is not just a body with physical parts and systems, but is a spiritual being as well. The mind and the emotions are believed to be connected to this spirit, as well as to the body. Holistic practitioners are truly alternative in the sense that they often avoid surgery or drugs as treatments, though they are quite fond of meditation, prayer, herbs, vitamins, minerals and exotic diets as treatments for a variety of ailments. ([skepdic.com])

    You note that you see a “holistic cardiologist”. Based on the above holistic definition, your cardiologist is either: not a MD trained in cardiology, or is not a true holistic “doctor” who simply uses the holistic label to capture more business. Does he/she recommend you place a band-aid on your finger and pray that your defective aortic valve corrects itself before it fails?

  40. kbarrett says:

    Di-Hydrogen Monoxide is dangerous.

    Therapies that use it should be banned.

  41. RvLeshrac says:

    @Indecision:

    Doh, you beat me to it.

  42. AD8BC says:

    @public enemy #1: I was just going to say that he looked just like Patrick Duffy. Maybe Mr. Duffy will be tasked with playing the Trudeau character for the TV Movie about the life and times of a con man.

  43. Kifune says:

    @TheSeeker: There are several work-at-home virtual call center companies out there that are totally legit. I work through a company called LiveOps as an independent contractor. http://www.liveops.com Just need a landline with no special services, a phone with a headset, and high speed internet. For me it’s a great extra job — a few hours a week here and there and I make money to help supplement my full-time job.

  44. Parapraxis says:

    “I lied, I cheated, and I slept around”
    -George Bluth

  45. Kifune says:

    @Snarkysnake: Oh yeah, don’t get me started on the Debt Cures books. The thing about taking calls for all of these infomercial items is that really the point isn’t just to get the caller to buy the initial product — but the upsells. For some products, the upsells make sense and people take them. But with Debt Cures — people are calling because they are in debt! And the upsells on this book are amazing! Non-stop product after product (book on cd, book on mp3, more books…more …more) that it’s embarassing having to offer this stuff to someone. But of course, the catch 22 is that a lot of the time the people calling in so in debt will buy buy buy because they are compulsive shoppers.

    Oh well, their weaknesses pad my bank account. And lately, I’ve been getting calls for so many other products — I don’t miss Kevin’s crap at all.

  46. AddisonMavenue says:

    its a shame that TV stations actually sell him advertising space to run his scams.

  47. somuch2 says:

    I do not see the connection between the Jewish guy and Kevin T. As a Jew, I find that picture placement really offensive.

  48. Sirened says:

    Hey, he warned us when he said “they” didn’t want us to know about them!

  49. RvLeshrac says:

    @Kifune:

    Make that an *additional* landline. After reading through that site… wow. I don’t see any guaranteed call volumes, so there’s no way to be certain that the number of calls you get will actually pay the phone bill every month.

    I do work on the side and only have one phone line. That immediately disqualifies me.

    In addition, they seem to have absolutely no understanding of security, with their stigma against VoIP calling and cellphone calls. I wouldn’t dream of ever signing with a company that knows so little about modern phone systems that they would just throw out all digital calling. Given that the modern telephone system consists largely of digital switches, I can’t understand why they would accept one digital switch and not another.

  50. avantartist says:

    synchronicity time… just last night [or early this morning] I saw the Debt Cures book infomercial. I have to admit I was a little curious to know what his secrets were that ‘they’ didn’t want us to know about.

  51. Indecision says:

    @RvLeshrac: “After reading through that site… wow.”

    I agree. One of their requirements is that you have “Internet 6.”

  52. Charred says:

    @Serenefengshui: My hairy left testicle he is!

  53. @somuch2: Just in case you’re not joking—that photo is a screencap from the TV show “Arrested Development,” from when George Bluth Sr., who is in fact not Jewish, claims that he has converted and begins selling a self-help video from jail.

    From Wikipedia:

    George Sr. has also had a religious awakening twice on the show, once becoming Jewish after a period of isolation and selling a video series “Caged Wisdom,” and once becoming devoutly Christian after reading a pamphlet in a garbage bag while hiding in the attic.

  54. RvLeshrac says:

    @Serenefengshui:

    “Interesting ideas” what? You mean his paranoid delusions, or his delusions of grandeur?

  55. Kifune says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    I don’t have a landline for anything other than this since I’m cellphone only. I couldn’t care less what their security is to be honest…it’s not my sensitive info that is being dealt with. And while some do, I don’t work it full-time. But after a few months of being consistently decent on my calls (conversion, talk time, etc.) I make about $10-15 an hour for very easy work in my home, part-time when I want to and only when I want to. For extra cash — it’s perfect. No commute, I can work in my pj’s before or after work or on weekends, and the pay is getting very good for me for all that.

  56. peggynature says:

    @DSaddict: Interesting. Apparently one of my nutrition professors’ in-laws told her (a PhD and dietitian) that she was “part of the conspiracy to keep people fat” because she disagreed with the Atkins diet.

    It seems that sometimes people take nutritional beliefs to heart like religious beliefs, and will defend them with the most wildly irrational fervour. I still can’t quite understand why it has to get so emotional.

  57. RvLeshrac says:

    @peggynature:

    I think you answered your own question!

  58. RedSonSuperDave says:

    My local library has copies of many of this fraud’s books. Would it be unethical to check them out and them write a link to his Wiki site inside, or possibly “annotate” them?