Weight loss book author given 10 years prison time

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2014-03-21 07:42:37 -0500
Started 2014-03-17 18:32:21 -0500

In addition to the latest round of FDA crackdowns on supplements that don’t live up to their claims, we now have the Federal Trade Commission watching as well.
Today, Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison for not paying his $37 million fine over his fraudulent infomercials for his book "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About".
Here’s a few links:

Basically Trudeau claimed to have a “miracle substance discovered in the 1950s and kept secret by food companies and the government that allows people to eat anything”. Which I’m sure had many overweight conspiracy theorists reaching for their wallets.

Trudeau basically 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. Hmmmm…..500 calories a day. I’ll bet you can eat anything – one noodle of macaroni and cheese, one Brussels sprout, and maybe a slice of bologna, washed down with a tablespoon of soda.
Yep, there’s a weight loss cure my doctor doesn’t want me to know about, probably because it will kill me.

All I can say is, folks, if it seems too good, it probably is.

41 replies

johio 2014-03-21 02:27:43 -0500 Report

it's about time than charlatan got sent away. I believe there are many things scientists and doctors don't know. But his false claims were totally unsupportable.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-03-20 10:34:42 -0500 Report

Hi Nick; Thanks for the feed back, just goes to show our parents weren't so dumb after all. Hope I was able to pass it along to my own children. So far their okay. They seem as sceptical as I am. Sometimes the old fashion ways are the best.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-03-19 16:12:57 -0500 Report

I just found out, on the news, about his arrest and sentence. I always thought he was a creep. I just make it a practice not to watch info commercials. They. or should I say, most sound like their to good to be true. Weight loss in particular is a biggy with most people. They know how hard it is to loose weight in the first place so if it sounds easy, let me try it. That's their thinking anyway. I just keep plugging away in the old fashion way. I agree with everyone that said it, "People are gullible" and I believe they find these things easier to make life better. I'm glad I was raised to be "on the look-out" for scams like this one, as well as countless others. I'll get off the band wagon now but not without adding again, "If it's to good, it probably is." A good quote from Nick1962.

Nick1962 2014-03-19 18:37:10 -0500 Report

I too was raised to never be too trusting, and this just pushed me over the edge. From now on (for me at least) if it comes from the TV or internet, it's automatically questioned.
And yup, so far the old fashioned way seems to be the only sure fire way to lose weight.

GabbyPA 2014-03-19 06:10:10 -0500 Report

I heard about his arrest yesterday in the news. He had been doing this for so long, I'm surprised it took so long to make a case against him. 500 calories a day will make anyone loose weight.

Nick1962 2014-03-19 08:32:01 -0500 Report

He’s managed to find a market (and make a comfortable living off of it) pretty well. I guess my larger point in posting this was he’s not wrong in the empirical sense, and has several successful supporters. I’ve just recently reached the epiphany point that we are so barraged by media and the internet with similar type “half-information” that it’s no wonder we’re in the shape we’re in.

GabbyPA 2014-03-19 08:40:40 -0500 Report

It's like that in the information age. Today we can eat eggs, tomorrow we can't, then the next day we can. That is why I keep saying to keep an open mind, try things for yourself and see if it works for you. We are all so different and things may work for me that won't for you....but there does come a point of where we should say...uh, no.

I do believe there are a lot of things out there that are kept under wraps to keep the money flowing to those who can control it. But like anything, they too are things that may work for some and not for others.

I keep hoping that magic pill will show up...blue or red? Hmmmmm

Nick1962 2014-03-19 09:14:10 -0500 Report

Well, I’m kind of starting to lean in the other direction. I’m starting to believe an open mind is prime real estate for all kinds of junk.

I can’t help but feel that we as a society have to somehow draw a line (without the government) between what we are and aren’t willing to accept as valid information. We collectively set limits on who banks can market credit cards to because it’s considered predatory. I don’t see a difference here.

jayabee52 2014-03-18 20:45:47 -0500 Report

I always had a healthy skeptcism about Trudeau and his claims, but this surprised me as this is the first I've heard this news.

Nick1962 2014-03-19 08:04:32 -0500 Report

If you look into the back stories on this, he wasn’t actually arrested for producing the “misleading” book, but failing to pay back the refund fines of those he bilked. Kind of a shame that the emphasis is on financial fraud rather than something bordering on medical malpractice considering all the uproar over Steve Cooksey’s Paleo blog.

meadowrose 2014-03-18 20:17:12 -0500 Report

I heard that. But am wondering, now, if his other books are bogus, as well: the ones with Cures They Don't Want You To Know About. Now am suspicious. Some of what he talks about in them does make me raise an eyebrow just a little, but from a certain point of view, it sounds like it could be at least somewhat credible.

Nick1962 2014-03-19 08:52:11 -0500 Report

I think that’s the whole gist of what it’s all about – he’s not “wrong” in the sense that if you limit yourself severely you’ll lose weight, and that raised eyebrow is one of the reasons I posted this. I think we all tend to get sucked into things that are on the surface credible, but not really logical.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-17 21:39:59 -0500 Report

Nick when we vended at the Flea Market there was a huge raid. One of the vendors was an Asian man who sold all kinds of diet supplements including Whey Protein. The FDA, got him. Nothing he sold was real and this man had been there for years. He sold wholesale to health food stores. I found out not too long ago that he sold this stuff nationwide to all kinds of health food stores. Everything he had came from China. Some had labels written in Chinese. Others had the GNC labels on them. He was arrested. A few weeks later one of our regular customers said he came to get his protein powder. We told him that he was arrested on the day of the raid because everything he had was fake. For two years the FDA, FTC, Homeland Security, the music/movie industry, the clothing industry and several other Federal Agencies had been coming in buying merchandise from vendors and testing it and 98% of the clothing, music, movies, jewelry (thankfully we make ours), vitamins and beauty products were fake. There was even a guy selling fake viagra. The owner knew but didn't care. Now he has lost millions of dollars, facing jail and the IRS nailed him to the wall.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-03-19 03:07:15 -0500 Report

Oh Joyce, that is awful. I don't understand how some people can be so deceitful and have no concern for their actions. It sounds like all he cared for was MONEY. I am glad they caught him, and any one else who is that ( cruel, evil, and down right mean ) dosn't care how they harm people for the almighty dollar. I guess it goes to show the love of money is the root of evil.

Nick1962 2014-03-18 07:56:02 -0500 Report

I think I'm going to make my own and see how long I can keep it on the market - a special drink of cinnamon and okra juice. By all claims, that should wipe out daibetes completely!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 09:03:18 -0500 Report

I agree Nick. If you believe something long enough, eventually you will think something is working when it really isn't. I just saw an ad on TV about a doctor in the area freezing unwanted fat off your problem areas. Naturally he has people swearing it works. If you want to meet with him, you can meet him at one of the most expensive restaurants in the area. Common sense should kick in and you ask your self if this is legitimate, why are you going to a restaurant to consult with him? Why can't you do this in his office? If freezing off fat really works, I have spent a good part of the winter in the Polar Vortex, had no real heat for 8 weeks therefore, I should be as thin as Twiggy.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 09:08:27 -0500 Report

Have you seen the ads on TV about buying and selling Real Estate with no money? People all over the country fall for that scam. Now I have found out that a lot of the Reverse Mortgage people are scamming people. People do not read the fine print or ask questions. They just listen and see something that is going to work for them at the moment without looking at long term effects.

robertoj 2014-03-18 13:10:34 -0500 Report

I never trusted those ads. They artificially inflate the price of real estate along with the flip this house set. When the target is ripe the sharks will begin to circle and they will devour the profits even as it destroys the economy. My sister in law tried to get in despite my warning that the market was going to crash. Fortunately she hedged her bets by gettinng a real estate license. The market crashed soon afterwards.

Nick1962 2014-03-18 09:25:28 -0500 Report

Yes, I have. I actually bought my first house under a “program” but had the presence of mind to get out before the negatives (like a super high interest rate) kicked in. It worked for me in the long run, but I know several folks that bought under the same block improvement program that needed bailing out.
Like anything in life, houses, diabetes, and dare I even say spouses sometimes – one of my favorite Rachael Yamagata song lyrics apply - “throw yourself in the midst of danger, but keep one eye open at night”

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 09:31:56 -0500 Report

People in the new development across the street from me bought houses under the Hope 6 program. Thought they would be able to keep them for a few years and sell at a higher price only to learn that if you sell before 10 years you have to pay back the money used to subsidize the house. Didn't read the small print.

Nick1962 2014-03-18 10:11:01 -0500 Report

Yup, same type program. City offered incentives on certain tracts and government offered low down payments for first-time buyers if you took a class. Intent was to prevent developers from just coming in and flipping properties to rent out. City wanted some pride of ownership and neighborhood development. Same 10 year limit. Got divorced at year 7 and took sole ownership. Had to sell at year 8 with new wife and teen which meant a penalty. Luckily, I had excellent credit and improved the property way beyond what was expected (hey, I was divorced for a year with nothing to do and no money to do it), plus wife #2 invested some $ for a small remodel. Bought for $29,000 (with 5% down) and sold in year 8 at $87,000. Both city and government gladly let me off the hook.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 10:23:59 -0500 Report

One of the people paid 80 for his house, refinished the basement. Sold the house after one year for 100 thousand and had to pay back the 80. He was mad but he used the money and took money from his 401K and bought a bigger house in the high rent district. His wife was graduating from Law School and he got a huge raise. He said they are doing great now. The Mayor made much part of the city Historic which includes my community so we get a historic tax break. The people in the two new developments are mad because they don't qualify.

Nick1962 2014-03-18 11:18:47 -0500 Report

Luckily mine was a small 600 sf bungalow on the fringe of the area across the street from some very nice brick settlement homes that housed lawyers and doctors. They called my little house the “servant’s quarters” to the neighborhood. Had a crazy pack-rat of a neighbor who kept everything he salvaged. Managed to re-make (for free) a bunch of the turn-of-the-century trim and porch columns out of wood he saved to replace the cheap black aluminum stuff done during a previous owner’s remodel. He even had two of my solid wood 6-panel interior doors in his garage I stripped and put back in place. Even stripped 100 years of paint off all the hinges, door and window hardware back to their original. The new owner (a single female) made even further improvements and the little house is worth others twice it’s size.
Other folks just basically made their places livable as cheap as they could, got crappy paint jobs that barely made the minimum requirements for the program, and basically spent 10 years just replacing the shoddy workmanship and mistakes made.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-18 11:45:03 -0500 Report

I stripped 100 years of paint off our fireplace front in the living room only to find a solid marble mantle and fireplace front. It is georgeous. It is blue marble. Goes with nothing but looks great.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-17 19:31:26 -0500 Report

Paint surprise all over my face. Nick people will fall for everything. Look at the nurse that got arrested for giving botox shots. People want miracle cures that will help them look younger, thinner and give them all the energy in the world. Just think I could be 80 look 20, have a body like Halle Berry, and the energy of a 10 year old if I fell for all of that stuff.

haoleboy 2014-03-17 19:18:54 -0500 Report

can we hope Mercola and Oz are next?

Nick1962 2014-03-18 07:50:03 -0500 Report

Mercola I actually have some faith in because he is pretty much practicing his preach, BUT his form of discipline is such that you really need to be a special peson to benefit for a lifetime.

haoleboy 2014-03-18 14:19:13 -0500 Report

I have a hard time accepting medical advice from someone who is trying so hard to sell me something. it's about cedability … he comes across as a snake oil salesman

Nick1962 2014-03-18 14:50:41 -0500 Report

I understand how it can be seen that way. Not a “follower” of his in any sense myself, but at least he markets and sells from a health basis and with a recognized medical degree, not a money-above-all pyramid scheme like Trudeau did. For me Mercola’s snake oil is the least objectionable.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-17 19:32:31 -0500 Report

What!!!!! You mean Dr. Oz doesn't have a cure for everything??? Once again I am shocked…LOL. Oprah discovered him and that is his claim to fame.

Lentyl 2014-03-17 19:17:52 -0500 Report

It's a sad fact of life that there are such people who prey on those who suffer.

Nick1962 2014-03-18 07:54:04 -0500 Report

Yup, what's worse though are those who don't learn from being duped and just keep falling for scam after scam and taking this pill and that.
Noce to see you again by the way.

robertoj 2014-03-17 18:57:29 -0500 Report

Diets and miracle cures are a farce and dangerous to boot. For most weight loss is a matter of lifestyle change. Exercise.and better eating habits are a viable answer. Many of the foods we like can be made with healthier ingredients. For others treatment is of utmost importance. Weight gain may not be your fault and body image should be adjusted to reflect reality.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-17 21:29:49 -0500 Report

I agree with you. However people get rich off of these kinds of scams because of gullible people. These kinds of scams will cause people harm but they can't seem to get that far in their thought process. The worse are the supplement scams. Most of those are not real and that can include the ones bought in health food stores.

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