Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction

trudeaugrabAlmost a year ago, it seemed like a federal court had put an end to the decade-long fight with bestselling scam artist Kevin Trudeau, finding the author and infomercial weight loss/personal finance pitchman in contempt of court for violating a 2004 court order barring him from telling lies in order to sell his books. Now, only a few months into his 10-year sentence, Trudea has filed an appeal.

The appeal [PDF] contends that federal prosecutors failed to move his case forward in the timely manner required by the Speedy Trial Act, and that the District Court should have granted his earlier motion to dismiss the case.

He additionally claims that the court erred by instructing the jury that it could find that Trudeau acted willfully by “disregarding a substantial risk that his actions would violate the law,” i.e., by acting recklessly.

In the appeal, Trudeau’s lawyers contend that the the government failed to show that he willingly violated the court order. They say the only evidence given at trial to back up this claim were the infomercials for his book The Weight Loss Cure — which shows Trudeau making statements about how you can lose weight quickly, easily, and without exercise — and the actual book, in which Trudeau reveals that his weight loss “cure” actually requires a harsh, and potentially deadly, 500 calorie/day diet, along with regular exercise, not to mention colonics and prescription injections of hormones found only in pregnant women.

According to Trudeau, these pre-recorded infomercials in which he makes statements that directly contradict the information in the very book he’s selling, don’t prove that he made these statements willfully.

One other issue raised by the appeal is the severity of Trudeau’s sentence. Ten years is rare for criminal contempt cases.

You could make the case that keeping Trudeau behind bars is the only way the government will collect on the $37 million judgement against the charming fraudster. Before he was found guilty of contempt in 2013, he was jailed when the court discovered he was continuing to live a rather nice lifestyle thanks to a previously undisclosed bank account in Australia.

At Trudeau’s sentencing in April, the judge spoke harshly of the defendant.

“Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” said the judge, later adding, “He has treated federal court orders as if they were mere suggestions, or impediments to be side-stepped, out-maneuvered or just ignored.”

Meanwhile, Trudeau maintains a loyal group of devoted followers online, who post hopeful messages to his regularly updated Facebook page, and who even help him fulfill his requests for reading material from the outside world.

However, the link for the KT Legal Defense Fund site currently goes to a GoDaddy page, so none of his 20,000 followers seem to be keeping up the web hosting bills.

And even though the knowledge in Trudeau’s books might be worthless, they are still legally sold, and TV stations still occasionally air the Trudeau infomercials that don’t contain misleading statements.

Trudeau sold the rights to his books to a third party, which collects a royalty for the author but pays it to the government to pay down the many millions that he owes the feds.

As always, we can’t write about a behind-bars Kevin Trudeau without referencing another jailed genius, George Bluth, author of Caged Wisdom:

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.