In what has become one of the longest FTC battles ever, a federal judge has held that Kevin Trudeau, a crazy popular how-to book guru, is in contempt for not paying a $37.6M Fine.
This is part of a decades long fight between the FTC and Trudeau, who has written books claiming to cure cancer, fight hair loss and lose weight easily. Trudeau had agreed in 2004 to stop deceptive marketing of his books via infomercials, but supposedly kept on making claims about the books that were false.
Thus, he was fined another $37.6M in 2007 but has failed to pay it, claiming that he does not personally have the money, and his wide network of offshore companies are not actually owned by him.
The judge decided not to send him to jail, but instead has ordered that he turn over all this companies and assets immediately, saying that would be the only way to ensure that his “victims” are paid.
The judge is probably pretty upset, because in 2010 Trudeau had urged his followers to contact the judge as part of his “free speech” campaign. The Judge at that point sentenced him to 30 days in jail for, among other things, crashing his email server.
Trudeau has claimed from the beginning that what he sells is protected by Free Speech, and that his prosecution by the FTC was nothing more than an attempt to smear his name. The claims of a conspiracy involving pharmaceutical companies and the Federal government has led to him being a hero of sorts with some anti-government fringe elements.
What do you think of the FTC’s fight against “fraud?” Is it going overboard when they are preventing free speech? Is this a real issue?