Kevin Trudeau
Kevin Trudeau
Kevin Mark Trudeau is an American author, radio personality, and infomercial salesman who promotes various health, diet and financial remedies. Many of his claims are unsubstantiated and controversial. Several of his books, including Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, allege that both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry value profit over treatments or cures.
Biography
Kevin Trudeau's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Kevin Trudeau from around the web
After 18 years, TV fraudster Kevin Trudeau's case is over, 'we hope,' judges rule
Chicago Times - about 2 months
TV conman Kevin Trudeau made his fortune pitching "miracle" cures for everything from obesity to poverty in infomercials for years as the feds pursued him. Even getting sent to prison for a decade in 2014 by a Chicago judge for lying didn't shut the smooth-talking pitchman up, or put an end to his...
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Chicago Times article
Court upholds TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau's 10-year sentence
Chicago Times - about 1 year
An appeals court in Chicago has upheld a 10-year prison term for a best-selling author whose name is synonymous with late-night TV pitches. Its Friday opinion says Kevin Trudeau "spent his career hawking miracle cures...of dubious efficacy" and that his "bag of tricks contains something to relieve...
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Chicago Times article
U.S. TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau loses appeal of conviction, sentence
Reuters.com - about 1 year
(Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday rejected former TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau's bid to overturn his conviction and 10-year prison sentence for having exaggerated the content of a weight-loss book he marketed through infomercials.
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Reuters.com article
Trudeau tells judge he would prefer waterboarding to jail
Chicago Tribune - about 3 years
Jailed TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau told a federal judge today he's willing to be waterboarded to prove that he's not hiding vast sums of money overseas.
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Chicago Tribune article
'They' the people find TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau guilty
Los Angeles Times- Opinion - over 3 years
He’s not an expert, but he’s played one on television, and that’s part of the reason that Kevin Trudeau could soon be headed for federal prison.
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Los Angeles Times- Opinion article
Kevin Trudeau found guilty of criminal contempt over diet book ads
LATimes - over 3 years
A federal jury finds the author of 'The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You To Know About' guilty of criminal contempt and he is taken into custody. In the world of dieting, many promises are made and broken. But author Kevin Trudeau's is an extreme case: He had been warned by no less than the Federal Communications Commission not to make false claims about his diet book in advertisements.
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LATimes article
TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau convicted of lying in diet ads
USA Today - over 3 years
He faces anywhere from probation to life in prison at sentencing in February.
Article Link:
USA Today article
TV pitchman Trudeau found guilty of criminal contempt
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Adam Kirby CHICAGO (Reuters) - A federal jury found pitchman Kevin Trudeau guilty of criminal contempt on Tuesday for exaggerating the contents of his weight-loss book in infomercials, and he was taken into custody, prosecutors said. Jurors took less than an hour to find Trudeau, 50, guilty of violating a 2004 federal court settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that barred him from misrepresenting the contents of his books in advertisements, said Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago. Prosecutors had argued Trudeau knowingly violated the 2004 agreement while marketing his book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You To Know About," in infomercials made in 2006 and 2007 that aired about 32,000 times. In part, Trudeau told viewers in the infomercials that the "cure" to obesity was not a diet and did not require exercise, but the book instructed readers to walk an hour each day and to limit intake to 500 calories.
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Yahoo News article
TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau guilty of contempt
CBS News - over 3 years
Trudeau was accused of violating a judge's 2004 order barring him from making false claims about his book, "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About"
Article Link:
CBS News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kevin Trudeau
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 51
    In April 2014, Guzman ordered that royalties payable to Trudeau from continuing sales of his books—now owned by a California company called Free is My Favorite LLC, which purchased the rights from Trudeau—be forwarded to a government-controlled trust and used for fine and restitution payments.
    More Details Hide Details Infomercials for Free Money "They" Don't Want You to Know About, produced and marketed by Free is My Favorite LLC, continue to run on television stations throughout the United States. In October 2015, Gettleman approved a partial refund of about $8 million to more than 820,000 people who bought The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About. One common criticism by consumer groups is that Trudeau has had no medical training. Trudeau responds that by not having such training, he is not biased toward pharmaceutical companies and the FDA, and that medical doctors "are taught only how to write out prescriptions" for "poisons" and "cut out pieces of a person's anatomy." Trudeau has been criticized for his inability to provide evidence to back up his claims. Although he recites anecdotes, he has never provided evidence evaluated by licensed medical practitioners. In instances where Trudeau has been asked to provide proof, he has misinterpreted medical studies or cited dubious or fictitious studies. For example, Trudeau cited a nonexistent 25-year research study involving a natural cure for diabetes at the University of Calgary. When ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper confronted him on Nightline, Trudeau insisted that he had a copy of the study and would provide it; he never did. He later claimed in his infomercials that the university destroyed its findings to prevent reprisals from the pharmaceutical industry. In 2006 University of Calgary officials announced in a public statement that none of Trudeau's claims about the university's research were true, and that its attorneys had sent Trudeau a "cease and desist" letter, demanding that he stop associating himself with the school.
    In March 2014, Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison, an "unusually lengthy" term for a contempt conviction.
    More Details Hide Details Judge Ronald Guzman, "visibly irritated" by Trudeau's plea for leniency, described him as "deceitful to the core". "Trudeau has treated federal court orders as if they were mere suggestions... or at most, impediments to be sidestepped, outmaneuvered or just ignored," Guzman said. "That type of conduct simply cannot stand." Trudeau has filed an appeal, contending that (a) Gettleman erred in ruling that Trudeau's misrepresentations of the content of Free Money "They" Don't Want You to Know About was in contempt of the court’s 2004 Order; (b) that the district court abused its discretion when it ordered him to pay compensatory damages of $37.6 million; and (c) further abused its discretion when it amended its 2004 Order to prohibit him from participating in infomercials promoting his books. He is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Prison Camp Montgomery in Alabama. He maintains an active Facebook page, where he solicits donations for his "defense fund" and compares his imprisonment to that of Nelson Mandela.
    In February 2014, the court-appointed receiver announced that a number of Trudeau's known assets, including a home in Ojai, California, would be auctioned, with proceeds to be applied toward unpaid fines and restitutions.
    More Details Hide Details The receiver also assumed control of Trudeau's Global Information Network (GIN), the Nevis-based "secret club" that had promised extraordinary "secrets to success". Court officials informed GIN members that the club’s business model “likely amounted to an illegal pyramid scheme", and that its relentlessly publicized group of 30 billionaire financial advisors known as the “GIN Council” did not exist. GIN's remaining assets were later auctioned as well.
  • FORTIES
  • 2013
    Age 50
    In September 2013, Judge Robert Gettleman held Trudeau in civil contempt for violation of multiple court orders and failure to pay the $37 million fine assessed in 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Noting that he continued to maintain a lavish lifestyle, despite insisting that he had been “completely wiped out” financially, Gettleman appointed a receiver to identify and catalog Trudeau's assets and holdings. A month later Trudeau was arrested after refusing to cooperate with the receiver's investigation. In November a jury found him in criminal contempt for repeated violations of his 2004 agreement as well as subsequent orders and plea deals. Pending sentencing he was held without bail as a flight risk, and for continued failure to disclose hidden assets.
  • 2011
    Age 48
    On Nov. 29, 2011, Trudeau lost his 2010 appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
    More Details Hide Details The court found that the $37.6 million fine for violating his 2004 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission was appropriate as Trudeau had aired 32,000 infomercials and described the figure as "conservative." The court considered sales only from the 800 number used to place orders and excluded internet and store sales. Additionally, the court found that requiring Trudeau to make a $2 million performance bond prior to participating in an infomercial was constitutional.
  • 2010
    Age 47
    On February 11, 2010, Trudeau was arrested and appeared in U.S. District Court before Gettleman for criminal contempt of court after he "asked his supporters to email the federal judge overseeing a pending civil case brought against him by the Federal Trade Commission."
    More Details Hide Details He was forced to turn over his passport, pay a $50,000 bond and was warned he could face future prison time for interfering with the direct process of the court. On February 17, Gettleman sentenced Trudeau to 30 days in jail and forfeiture of the $50,000 bond. Well-known critic of Trudeau, Stephen Barrett, the creator of Quackwatch.org, "has for years labeled Trudeau a fraud" and was quoted: "He struck me as somebody who (believes he) is omnipotent. That is, no one can touch him," Barrett said. "That’s almost been the case." Trudeau appealed the ruling and on May 20 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted his motion, dismissing the contempt citation. On November 28, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued warnings to companies selling human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as weight loss products as the claims are unsupported. The HCG diet was popularized by Trudeau's The Weight-Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About book in 2007.
  • 2008
    Age 45
    On August 7, 2008, Gettleman issued an order that Trudeau was not to appear in infomercials for any product in which he has any interest, for three years from the date of the order; and was to pay a penalty of $5,173,000, an estimate of the royalties received from the weight loss book.
    More Details Hide Details On November 4, 2008, Gettleman amended the judgment to $37,616,161, the amount consumers paid in response to the deceptive infomercials. The court denied Trudeau's request to reconsider or stay this ruling on December 11 of the same year. Trudeau appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit which upheld the contempt finding, but sent the case back to the lower court to explain the basis of the $37,616,161 damage finding and the three-year infomercial ban. After the lower court justified the basis for the damage finding, and set a $2 million performance bond for future infomercial advertising, Trudeau again appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which affirmed the damage award on November 29, 2011.
    In 2008 he married Natalya Babenko, another Ukrainian, who currently runs several of his former companies.
    More Details Hide Details She has returned to her home in Kiev, according to Trudeau.
  • 2007
    Age 44
    On November 19, 2007, Trudeau was found in contempt of the 2004 court order for "patently false" claims in his weight loss book.
    More Details Hide Details U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman ruled that Trudeau "clearly misrepresents in his advertisements the difficulty of the diet described in his book, and by doing so, he has misled thousands of consumers."
    Trudeau has been married at least three times. Little is known about his first marriage, to Oleksandra Polozhentseva, a Ukrainian immigrant. His second union, in 2007, to Kristine Dorow, a Norwegian student whom he met in London, ended in annulment after four months.
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  • 2005
    Age 42
    Trudeau won a temporary restraining order on September 6, 2005 prohibiting the Board from sending letters to the television stations.
    More Details Hide Details The temporary restraining order was replaced by a preliminary injunction. However, Trudeau lost a motion to have the Board send a "corrective letter" to the television stations and subsequently dropped all claims for monetary damages. The case is still in litigation.
    Trudeau filed a lawsuit on August 11, 2005, accusing the New York State Consumer Protection Board of violating his First Amendment rights by contacting television stations in New York state and urging them to pull Trudeau's infomercials promoting his book Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About.
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  • 2004
    Age 41
    The FTC filed a contempt of court action against Trudeau and the companies that market The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About, alleging that Trudeau was in contempt of a 2004 court order by "deceptively claiming in his infomercials that the book being advertised establishes a weight-loss protocol that is 'easy' to follow."
    More Details Hide Details The action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on September 17, 2007. According to an FTC press release, Trudeau has claimed that the weight loss plan outlined in the book is easy, can be done at home, and readers can eat anything they want. When consumers buy the book, they find it describes a complex plan that requires intense dieting, daily injections of a prescribed drug that is not easily obtainable, and lifelong dietary restrictions.
    The complaint charged that the FTC had retaliated against him for his criticism of the agency by issuing a press release that falsely characterized and intentionally and deliberately misrepresented the 2004 Final Order.
    More Details Hide Details That conduct, Trudeau asserted, exceeded the FTC's authority under 15 U.S.C. § 46(f) and violated the First Amendment. The FTC responded with a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), and for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6). The district court granted the FTC's motion to dismiss. First, the court concluded that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because the press release was not "a 'final agency action'" under “section 704 of the Procedure Act”, 5 U.S.C. § 704. Second, the court held, "in the alternative, that Trudeau’s claims failed to state a viable cause of action as a matter of law." Trudeau later filed an appeal which was unsuccessful in reversing the court's ruling.
    In September 2004, Trudeau agreed to pay $2 million ($500,000 in cash plus transfer of residential property located in Ojai, California, and a luxury vehicle) to settle charges that he falsely claimed that a coral calcium product can cure cancer and other serious diseases and that a purported analgesic called Biotape can permanently cure or relieve severe pain.
    More Details Hide Details He also agreed to a lifetime ban on promoting products using infomercials, but excluded restrictions to promote his books via infomercials. Trudeau was the only person ever banned by the FTC from selling a product via television. Lydia Parnes, speaking for the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection stated: "This ban is meant to shut down an infomercial empire that has misled American consumers for years." Trudeau claimed the government was trying to discredit his book because he was "exposing them." On February 28, 2005, Trudeau filed a complaint against the FTC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Trudeau also filed a motion for preliminary injunction, which the court denied.
    In the summer of 2004, the court found Trudeau in contempt of court for violating the preliminary injunction, because he had sent out a direct mail piece and produced an infomercial making prohibited claims.
    More Details Hide Details The court ordered Trudeau to cease all marketing for coral calcium products.
    The FTC has filed a contempt-of-court action against Trudeau alleging that the alleged misrepresentations in the book violate a 2004 consent order.
    More Details Hide Details Debt Cures was published in 2007 and has been marketed on television. Chuck Jaffee, a columnist at CBS MarketWatch, stated: "Truth be told, most of the information the book is readily available in personal finance columns you can find online or in books that are readily available in your local library." Trudeau says that if readers disagree with items on their credit reports, they can dispute them as identity theft; this was the "magic cure" of the book's title. Trudeau sometimes mentions esteemed names throughout his books to extend himself credibility, such as Hazel Valera, Executive Director of the California-based non-profit organization Clear Credit Exchange, Harvard Law Professor, Elizabeth Warren, and Robert Hinsley of Consumers Defense, yet none of the mentioned were ever interviewed by Trudeau. Published in 2009, the product says it gives tools on how to use the Law of Attraction to manifest readers' desires. The packaging also says it contains key links to using the Law of Attraction that are missing in other publications. Among the claims made in the related infomercial is Trudeau's assertion to have virtually flunked out of high school. He also says he was "taken in" by a mysterious group called "The Brotherhood" that taught him the secrets that he is now widely announcing in his book. There is also an invitation to join the now defunct "Global Information Network," an "exclusive group of highly influential, affluent, and freedom-orientated sic people" (see below).
    In 2004, Trudeau self-published the book Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, which aimed to provide natural cures and medical advice for a variety of diseases.
    More Details Hide Details The advice centered on various forms of alternative medicine. Trudeau made a number of outstanding claims in the book that received widespread media attention. This included that the sun does not cause cancer, sunscreen is one of the major causes of skin cancer and that AIDS is a hoax. In the year of the book's launch, Trudeau featured in a 30-minute infomercial, in which he advertised the book. A number of Internet watchdogs were said to have analyzed the transcript, with Quackwatch concluding that the claims were misleading. After the release of the book a natural cure for diabetes included in the book was disputed by its purported source. The book refers to research carried out on a natural cure for diabetes at the University of Calgary. When questioned about the natural remedy, the University told ABC News "there have been no human studies conducted at the University of Calgary in the past 20 years on herbal remedies for diabetes."
    In 2004, Trudeau began writing books and promoting them with infomercials on U.S. The first book he published was a medical guide titled Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, which was published in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details The book was criticized for containing no natural cures. Trudeau claimed that he was not able to include them because of threats by the FTC. The book became a bestseller selling 5 million copies. Two years later, Trudeau published a second medical book titled More Natural Cures Revealed: Previously Censored Brand Name Products That Cure Disease (ISBN 0-9755995-4-2). According to Trudeau, the book identifies brand name products that will cure myriad illnesses. Trudeau's books claim that animals in the wild rarely develop degenerative conditions like cancer or Alzheimer's disease, and that many diseases are caused not by viruses or bacteria, but rather by an imbalance in vital energy. Science writer Christopher Wanjek critiqued and rejected many of these claims in his July 25, 2006 LiveScience.com health column. Trudeau went on to publish The Weight-Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About and Debt Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About. His writing has been commercially successful. In September 2005, Natural Cures was listed in the New York Times as the number-one-selling nonfiction book in the United States for 25 weeks. It has sold more than five million copies.
    In 2004, he settled a contempt-of-court action arising out of the same cases by agreeing to a settlement that included both payment of a $2 million fine and a ban on further use of infomercials to promote any product other than publications protected by the First Amendment.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1998
    Age 35
    In 1998, he was fined.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1993
    Age 30
    After his release in 1993, Trudeau joined a multi-level marketing firm, Nutrition for Life.
    More Details Hide Details The firm was successful until the Attorney General of Illinois charged that it was running a pyramid scheme. Trudeau and Nutrition for Life settled cases brought by the state of Illinois, and seven other U.S. states, for US$185,000. Next, Trudeau produced and appeared in a series of late-night television infomercial broadcasts throughout North America. They promoted a range of products, including health aids, dietary supplements (such as coral calcium), baldness remedies, addiction treatments, memory-improvement courses, reading-improvement programs and real estate investment strategies. The FTC took regulatory action against Trudeau, alleging that his broadcasts contained unsubstantiated claims and misrepresentations.
  • 1991
    Age 28
    In 1991, he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of credit card fraud and spent two years in federal prison.
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  • 1990
    Age 27
    After high school Trudeau became a car salesman, then joined the seminar circuit, selling memory improvement techniques. In 1990 he pleaded guilty to depositing $80,000 in worthless checks and impersonating a physician, but served, he said, fewer than 30 days.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1981
    Age 18
    Trudeau grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts, the adopted son of Robert and Mary Trudeau. He attended St. Mary's High School in Lynn, where he was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by the class of 1981.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1969
    Age 6
    The statement, extracted from a 1969 New York Times interview, was made in the context of Ley's resignation from his post as a result of numerous policy disputes.
    More Details Hide Details Trudeau's lawyer, David J. Bradford, says that this quote does not constitute a false endorsement of the book by Ley, but rather is merely a statement that is in line with the purpose of the book.
  • 1963
    Age 0
    Born on February 6, 1963.
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