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The 3-year FTC Ban that Kevin Trudeau Doesn't Want You to Know About

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a fondness for watching cheezy infomercials.  They used to air late at night, but now there are entire channels devoted to them.

So I often find myself lingering far too long, when I'm channel surfing, on the dozens of client affirmations for Proactiv, Cindy Crawford's buy-these-beauty-products-and-never-age-like-me schtick, and that one doo-dad that makes hot pockets out of any kind of food you want to eat. I have just one word for that last infomercial: awesome.

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One infomercial, however, drives me up the wall. Which one, you ask? Any infomercial that involves Kevin Trudeau and whatever book he's shilling on natural cures or weight loss. Why does this dude bother me?

Because a federal judge has banned Kevin Trudeau from infomercials in which he has an interest for three years. He's also been ordered to pay more than $5 million in profits from his book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About." This recent ruling in August confirms a 2004 contempt finding against Trudeau -- the second time he's been found in contempt of court in the past four years.

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Judge Robert W. Gettleman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois affirmed his 2007 ruling that Trudeau "clearly, and no doubt intentionally," violated a provision o a 2004 stipulated court order that prohibits him from misrepresenting the content of his books in his infomercials.

The judge stated that "the Infomercial[s] falsely and intentionally led thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of consumers to believe that the Weight Loss Book would describe an 'easy,' 'simple' protocol that, once 'finished' would allow the consumer to 'eat anything' he or she wants."

Some of the "undeniably false" statements that the judge said Trudeau made:

The Federal Trade Commission filed its first lawsuit against Trudeau in 1998. He was charged him with making false and misleading claims in infomercials for products he claimed could cause significant weight loss and cure addictions to heroin, alcohol, and cigarettes, and enable users to achieve a photographic memory, the FTC said.

In 2003, Trudeau was charged with violating the 1998 order by falsely claiming in infomercials that a product, Coral Calcium Supreme, could cure cancer. Then in 2004, Trudeau agreed to an order that resolved the Coral Calcium matter. The order directed him to pay $2 million in consumer redress and banned him from infomercials, except for infomercials for informational publications such as books, provided that he "must not misrepresent the content" of the books.

Let's hope this recent action keeps Trudeau off the air. And people, please please please stop falling for his spiel.

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