Sometimes, justice does find quacks

Remember the quack-friendly scammer Kevin Trudeau? Remember his book Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About? Back during the summer, he was fined $5 million and ordered not to produce or publish infomercials for products in which he had an interest. Given the huge profits he made from Natural Cures and his followup The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About, unfortunately, $5 million was nothing more than the cost of doing business. It didn’t do one thing to deter Trudeau.

Maybe this will:

A federal judge has ordered infomercial marketer Kevin Trudeau to pay more than $37 million for violating a 2004 stipulated order by misrepresenting the content of his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”

In August 2008, Judge Robert W. Gettleman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois had ordered Trudeau to pay more than $5 million and banned him, for three years, from producing or publishing infomercials for products in which he has an interest. The ruling confirmed an earlier contempt finding, the second such finding against Trudeau in the past four years.

Urged by both the FTC and Trudeau to reconsider aspects of its August order, on November 4 Judge Gettleman amended the judgment to $37,616,161, the amount consumers paid in response to the deceptive infomercials. The judge also revised the three-year ban to prohibit Trudeau from “disseminating or assisting others in disseminating” any infomercial for any informational publication in which he has an interest. On December 11, the court denied Trudeau’s request to reconsider or stay this ruling.

$37 million? Now that‘s more like it! That’s finally getting towards an amount of money that Trudeau might actually notice, that might actually cause him some real pain. Trudeau is a scammer, pure and simple. When enjoined by an FTC consent agreement not to make infomercials advertising his claims, he simply went around the decree by publishing books, using the First Amendment to bypass the–shall we say?–inconvenient orders. Here’s hoping that a judgment this big might actually slow down Trudeau. Given his past history of deceit and success in getting around judgments, I have no illusion that we will not be hearing from Trudeau again.