Infomercial Pitchman Guilty of Lying in Ads

Kevin Trudeau taken into custody, faces years in jail
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2013 5:41 PM CST
Infomercial Pitchman Guilty of Lying in Ads
This undated file photo shows infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau.   (AP Photo/Kevin Trudeau, File)

It took jurors about as long as one of Kevin Trudeau's infomercials to convict the TV pitchman of lying. A federal jury on Tuesday took all of 45 minutes to convict the 50-year-old resident of suburban Chicago of criminal contempt for telling tall tales about a weight-loss "cure," reports the Chicago Tribune. In the late-night ads, Trudeau pushed his best-selling book, The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About, and said it would show people how to lose weight and still eat whatever they want.

The problem is that the book actually recommended a spartan diet of 500 calories a day, along with prescription hormones. It wasn't the book's claims at issue, explains AP, but whether Trudeau's ad was misleading about its content. "If he had said what was truly in the book, he would have sold a lot fewer books," said a prosecutor in his closing argument. "That’s why he chose to lie about it.” Trudeau's attorney said prosecutors just didn't understand advertising. Jurors sided with prosecutors, and Trudeau was immediately taken into custody. Potential jail time is unclear, but the Sun-Times previously reported that Trudeau could get locked up for life. (Another high-profile businessman was found guilty in the last week: Pinkberry's founder.)

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