Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of criminal contempt by a Chicago jury. The former infomercial king is accused of making misleading claims to promote his book titled The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About.
Prosecutors said the infomercials included numerous false claims. In the late-night commercials, Trudeau said the weight loss plan was not actually a “diet.” He also said the required hormone injections were readily available. Additionally, he claimed that those who followed his recommendations could eventually resume their previous eating habits — without gaining any weight.
Trudeau’s weight loss plan requires consuming a maximum of 500 calories per day for a period of three weeks. Prosecutors argued that limiting calories is in fact a diet. They also explained that the required hormone injections are not available without a doctor’s prescription. They further criticized his claims that consumers would not gain weight after completing the program.
As reported by Reuters, Kevin Trudeau’s attorneys argued that the infomercials’ claims were presented as opinion — not facts. They said their client was protected from prosecution under his right to free speech.
The trial stemmed from a 2004 settlement between Trudeau and the FTC. In that settlement, he agreed to pay $2 million in damages and refrain from making false claims about the products he was promoting.
In 2010, the infomercial king was found to be in violation of his agreement with the FTC. He was ordered to return the $38 million in profits back to consumers who purchased his book.
Trudeau never returned the $38 million. He and his attorneys claim he is destitute and unable to gather the funds. However, the court found that he was not being truthful about his financial situation.
ABC News reports that the jury deliberated for one hour before reaching their verdict. Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of criminal contempt. He was detained and taken into custody, where he will remain pending sentencing.
[Image via Wikimedia]