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October 23, 2013
CHICAGO A man who grew into an infomercial giant while hawking dietary supplements and other products on late-night television was thrown into the slammer on Tuesday by the same judge who gave him a whopping fine four years ago.
Robert Gettleman, U.S. District Judge in Chicago, jailed Kevin Trudeau for contempt of court, finding he repeatedly neglected to pay $37 million in fines for violating a settlement with the FTC, USA TODAY reported.
"I don't have another alternative but to incarcerate you," the newspaper quoted Gettleman as saying. "It really saddens me, Mr. Trudeau. You're a smart guy. Maybe too smart. Perhaps you've outsmarted yourself."
In 2009, Gettleman ordered Trudeau to pay more than $37 million for violating a 2004 stipulation with the FTC. The pitchman was found to have misrepresented the content of his book, The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About, the FTC said at the time.
The FTC first sued Trudeau in 1998, claiming he made false and misleading claims in infomercials related to products marketed for weight loss and to cure additions to alcohol, cigarettes and heroine. Under a stipulated order, Trudeau was directed to pay $500,000 to compensate consumers and establish a $500,000 performance bond to ensure compliance.
Five years later, the FTC charged Trudeau with violating the order by falsely claiming that a product (Coral Calcium Supreme) could cure cancer. According to the FTC, Trudeau agreed to resolve the matter in 2004 under an order that enjoined him from doing infomercials except to promote books.
According to USA Today, the 50-year-old Trudeau became a best-selling author with such books as Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About.
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