Friday, December 6, 2013

Kevin Trudeau Will Face Jail for Lying on TV... AND Stiffing the Court of Penalties

English: This is my personal photo that I took...
Kevin Trudeau
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kevin Trudeau is a master salesman. Unfortunately, his early exposure to MLM seem to have lead him down a dark path, and he became a scammer instead. And now he's really going to pay the price... in jail. Following is a short history of Kevin Trudeau.


Kevin Trudeau apparently was a real go-getter even when he was young. He was voted "most likely to succeed" by his high school graduating class. However, he refused to go to college. He claimed he went to an Amway meeting at 15 and have wanted to be financially free ever since. He claim to have started a mail order company before he was 18. However, after high school he tried selling cars for a while, found it boring, then went on the seminar circuit, peddling one thing after another, like "super memory!" around the nation. Apparently that was not challenging or lucrative enough, as he went into fraud.

Apparently around 1990 he impersonated a doctor when meeting with bank officials to open accounts, then wrote 80000 worth of bad checks. He apparently also fraudulently obtained 11 credit cards (identify theft) and spent them. For the first crime he spent maybe a month in jail as the judge gave him a soft sentence for first time offender. A year later, when he got caught for the credit card fraud, he spent almost two years in a Federal prison.

When interviewed by Washington Post in 2005, Trudeau blamed "math error" and "overzealous bank officials" for his rap sheet. For the fraudulent credit cards, he said he was unfairly penalized for paying late one time his AMEX card which resulting in him not being able to get any card, and he had no choice but to apply with fake social security numbers.

He just cannot admit that he did anything wrong. Such narcissistic behavior is indicative of sociopathic personalities.

The prison stay did not stop his criminal behavior at all. It only make him even MORE determined to make his money... through any means possible. He also met up with a guy named Jules Leib (to whom he gave a Tony Robbins self-help book while in prison), and when they got out, they teamed up to make money... through MLM.

After his stint in a Federal prison Trudeau joined a MLM called "Nutrition For Life" in early 1990's. He also made a bunch of infomercials with Leib and played them on late night TV, selling stuff like baldness treatments (hair transplant at home?!), 60 second cure for any addiction using quantum mechanics (?!), and so on. They may also be cross-selling people to join as their downlines in Nutrition For Life as well as their other products.

The former head of Nutrition for Life, David Bertrand, remembers Trudeau quite well. Kevin Trudeau apparently TRIPLED sales... because Trudeau will go above and beyond what's legally permitted, repeatedly, making promises he can't keep. He's like the guy who tells those "fish stories"... And the fish got bigger and bigger. Bertrand recalled once that Trudeau promised free trips to prospective new members, and since there was no trips, people started complaining, and Bertrand had to charter a cruise ship for a weekend (that's thousands of people) to quell the complaints.

In 1996 State of Illinois sued Trudeau and Leib for operating a pyramid scheme using Nutrition for Life as cover. Trudeau and Leib split up, but not after settling with 7 different states and paid fines and promise to reform their sales tactics.  Later a class action suit against Nutrition for Life all but ended the company.

Trudeau's troubles are just starting though. In 1998, Federal Trade Commission, who oversees advertising (and thus, false advertising), went after Trudeau for bogus promises in those infomercials. Trudeau promised to pay 500000 in fines and stop making bogus promises. Unfortunately, Trudeau had problems keeping his mouth shut. By this time, he seem to have came to the conclusion that the government is somehow persecuting him.

In 2003, FTC went after Trudeau again, after learning that he really went too far into woo territory. Trudeau was pitching something "coral calcium" and claimed it not only cured cancer, he had a "guest" who claimed that people who had a ton of calcium in their diet are so healthy they can sire kids in their 70's. FTC got Trudeau fined an unprecedented TWO MILLION dollars (part of which was by confiscating his 180000 Mercedes and a couple mansions) as well as a TOTAL BAN of Trudeau making any more infomercials about products.

But that wouldn't stop Trudeau, who then decided to f*** FTC by writing books instead. As books are protected by Freedom of Speech, FTC technically has no oversight over it.

Trudeau published his first book, in 2005, "Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know". It is best known for having included NO NATURAL CURES, despite the title. When questioned, Trudeau claimed that it's due to FTC threats. He then went on making various infomercials promoting the book itself and its contents. He also claimed that FDA and FTC, along with some unnamed "big pharma", are out to silence him. The book contained various references to Trudeau's website or newsletter which costs extra subscription for more content, at several times the cost of the book. Health professionals found the book to be at best, speculative, and at worst, outright fraudulent.

Trudeau also tried proactive litigation, trying to sue FTC for a press release about the 2004 settlement against him. The suit was dismissed. Trudeau also sued New York Consumer Protection Board when it sent letter to TV stations urging them to stop showing Trudeau's infomercials as they were misleading.

Trudeau followed up with several books, including another "cures" book, a "weight loss" book, and a "debt cure" book. It is this weight loss book that got him back into sight of FTC in 2007.

In 2007, FTC hauled Trudeau back to court after noticing that the weight loss book was very different from what Trudeau promised in the matching infomercial. While FTC had no jurisdiction over the book, it certainly has jurisdiction over what Trudeau had said that's untrue, over the airwaves. Trudeau claimed in the infomercial that his weight loss plan is easy, can be done at home, and participants can eat anything they want. The reality is the plan is a 500 calorie per day EXTREME diet, involving an injection that is only available through a doctor's prescription, and lifelong calorie restrictions. Basically, Trudeau lied on TV. Two months after the FTC lawsuit, Trudeau was pronounced guilty of contempt of his 2004 consent order. Trudeau was ordered to pay a record 5 million dollar fine (estimated profit from the bogus weight loss book) and banned from many ANY infomercials for 3 years.

A year later (2008), the judge upped his fine to 37 million dollars when it was discovered that Trudeau had only reported the book sales, not the sales associated with the infomercials themselves.

Trudeau appealed the ruling in 2009, but the 37 million fine was eventually reaffirmed in 2011.

Around 2011 or 2012 Kevin Trudeau also emerged as a spokesperson for "Global Information Network", which claims to have members of all the conspiracy organizations such as "Bilderberg Group", "Illuminati", "Freemason", "Trilateral Commission", and so on, and they are going to help everybody who join (by paying them big bucks) with some exclusive business deals. Incorporated offshore, there is little information about GIN other than its shady nature and impossible-to-verify claims.

In Early 2013, Trudeau filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to avoid paying his 37 million dollar fine. Trudeau had basically been very uncooperative to government attempting to collect on that huge 37 million fine he owed. He continued his extravagant lifestyle of Brioni suits, silk monogrammed shirts, perfectly matching ties and hankies, Italian shoes, and mansions even though he's supposed to be living on a bare minimum necessities, with all other income going to the fines.

In June 2013, the court had finally had enough. It ordered him to appear before the court for criminal contempt. In November, a Federal jury convicted him of criminal contempt in merely 45 minutes, and he'll be jailed immediately until sentencing which is scheduled for February 2014.  His lawyer allegedly tried to argue to the jury that a TV advertisement can represent only an opinion that is outright false. It obviously did not work.

At least for now, Trudeau is silent, but not by choice.


The following sources were used to compile the aforementioned short bio of Kevin Trudeau
Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

  1. Trudeau gets 10 year sentence for criminal contempt.