FTC to mail refund checks to buyers of TV pitchman’s weight-loss book
FTC to mail refund checks to buyers of TV pitchman's weight-loss book
By Tony Briscoe
The Federal Trade Commission plans to begin compensating customers who bought a controversial weight-loss book that landed infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau in prison.
According to a filing last week, the FTC will be mailing refund checks within 30 days to hundreds of thousands of people who bought into Trudeau's false promises of shedding pounds while eating steak and ice cream. Trudeau claimed the book was filled with “easy” weight-loss techniques that actually called for prescription injections of a hormone found only in pregnant women, a month of colon hydrotherapy and a 500-calorie-a-day diet.
The money will come from the approximately $8 million in Trudeau assets recovered as of last summer by a court-appointed receiver after the so-called infomercial king failed to pay a penny of a whopping $37.6 million civil penalty levied by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman in 2007.
Under the FTC's original plan, consumers would receive about $11 each in the first round of checks — and more in another round for those who cash the initial checks. But how the larger number of victims will affect that individual payout was unclear. An FTC spokesman could not be reached for comment Monday because of the national holiday.
Trudeau was also convicted in 2014 of criminal contempt for violating a consent order in which he promised to stop making the misleading ads touting his book. He's serving a 10-year sentence at a minimum-security federal prison camp in Alabama.
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