Government Law

Infomercial king avoids jail, for now, because of contempt hearing delay caused by shutdown

TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau, accused of misleading viewers with claims about his weight loss book, may be grateful for the government shutdown.

Trudeau faced a contempt hearing today for failing to pay a $37 million judgment in a deceptive marketing case brought by the Federal Trade Commission. But FTC lawyers told U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman they needed a delay because they weren’t being paid, report the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune.

Trudeau had maintained he couldn’t afford to pay the judgment; FTC lawyers countered with evidence he recently spent $920 on cigars and $359 on two haircuts. The agency alleged Trudeau had concealed assets through companies, trusts and overseas bank accounts in the name of his wife, ABC News reported last month.

Trudeau was ordered to pay the $37 million in 2010 after Gettleman ruled he made misleading claims about his “easy” weight loss plan in infomercials for his book The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About, ABC News says. The book advised readers to consume only 500 calories a day and to inject themselves with a hormone often prescribed to stimulate ovulation in infertile women.

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