Trials & Litigation

Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau guilty of contempt for violating FTC consent decree

A federal jury in Chicago has reached a verdict almost immediately after a trial concluded Tuesday in a criminal contempt case against a diet book author and television infomercial king.

Kevin Trudeau, 50, is guilty of violating a decade-old consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission over his marketing of his book The Weight Loss Cure, the Chicago Tribune reports.

His counsel portrayed his infomercials touting the book as classic advertising promoting a product. The government contended that he misled consumers by claiming those who followed his plan could eat large amounts of fattening food when in fact they would have to follow a grueling regimen including, but not limited to, a 500-calorie-a-day diet.

Trudeau, who could now face a substantial prison term at sentencing, was taken into custody immediately after the verdict, the Associated Press reports. He previously was fined more than $37 million by the FTC in a related civil case and has recently faced additional court proceedings as the feds sought to force him to reveal assets.

CBS Chicago and WLS also have stories.

Earlier coverage: (2007): “Judge: ‘Easy’ Diet Claim in TV Ads Misleading, Violated Order” (2009): “Infomercial King’s ‘Cure’ Not So Easy, But Sanction Troubling, Court Says”

Chicago Tribune: “Jurors watch Kevin Trudeau’s infomercials at trial”

Updated at 5:55 p.m. to include Associated Press information.

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