In an unusually quick deliberation, a federal jury took less than 45 minutes Tuesday to find infomercial king Kevin Trudeau guilty of criminal contempt, and the judge ordered him locked up immediately.
Trudeau, 50, of Oak Brook, was found guilty of violating a 2004 court order that banned him from misrepresenting his diet book on TV infomercials.
Trudeau was not allowed to leave after the verdict was read and ordered detained until sentencing — an unusual move in a white-collar criminal case. The judge indicated that Trudeau’s history of ignoring the court’s authority led to his decision to lock him up.
The television ads— broadcast in 2006 and 2007 — presented Trudeau as a fearless anti-government and food industry campaigner. They helped shoot his book, “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” to the top of the best-seller list.
But prosecutors said the ads also broke the law when Trudeau used them to falsely claim in that his book was a “simple cure” for obesity that required no exercise or eating restrictions and “causes no hunger.”
In fact, sections of the book read for the jury during the trial showed that his plan called for daily injections in the buttocks of a prescription hormone derived from the urine of pregnant women that had been banned by the FDA for use in weight loss, as well as 15 colonic irrigations in a month; a punishing 500 calorie-a-day food limit, and a confusing medley of herbal teas, trampoline sessions and lengthy walks.
Among the more unusual instructions in the book were the directions to listen to “baroque classical music” while eating and the suggestion that dieters hum and perform a complex, choreographed series of head taps and eye rolls to stave off hunger pangs.
Trudeau is no stranger to jail. He spent a few days in the federal lockup, starting last month, after a federal judge in a related civil case found he was not being honest about allegedly hidden assets he had overseas. Trudeau has yet to pay a penny of a $38 million fine in that case.
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