TV Pitchman Kevin Trudeau Made False Diet Claims, Jury Finds
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A federal jury on Tuesday found television pitchman Kevin Trudeau did violate a federal order barring him from making false claims about his diet books on Tuesday.
The jury deliberated for less than 45 minutes before reaching its verdict on contempt charges. Trudeau faces a sentence that could put him prison for the rest of his life, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week.
Trudeau’s bond was immediately revoked and he was taken into custody. A sentencing date has not been set.
At issue was whether Trudeau violated a 2004 court order banning him from making false claims in three infomercials for his best-selling book, “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”
Though Trudeau claimed in the infomercials that his “cure” wasn’t a diet and that it required no supplements or exercise, the book demands a 500 calorie a day limit, daily injections of prescription hormones and long daily walks, federal prosecutors said during opening statements.
But defending Trudeau, attorney Thomas Hirsch said the claims Trudeau made in the ads were legitimate “statements of opinion” that were repeated in the book.
“We’re disappointed in the verdict. We hoped that it would come out the other way and there is a long process ahead. Mr. Trudeau does plan to appeal the conviction,” said Hirsch.
He accused the government of confusing required parts of Trudeau’s plan with optional steps, and said the ads included disclaimers and a money back guarantee, agreeing that whether the plan worked was irrelevant.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed