Consumers Duped by Faulty Weight-Loss Book to Receive FTC Refunds
Image: Pixabay

Consumers Duped by Faulty Weight-Loss Book to Receive FTC Refunds

The refunds are the result of a 2009 order requiring author Kevin Trudeau to make restitution

June 23, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is mailing checks totaling about $6.3 million to consumers who purchased a fraudulent weight-loss book.

The refunds will be going to purchasers of Kevin Trudeau's book "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About." In 2009, a federal judge ordered Trudeau to repay millions of dollars to consumers after he violated a 2004 FTC stipulated order by misrepresenting the book's content.

For years, Trudeau fought the FTC's efforts to collect the money he owes, including repeatedly denying that he had any money and hindering efforts to find his money. During one court proceeding, he "took the fifth" hundreds of times rather than answer questions about where his money was. Trudeau even spent time in jail due to his failure to cooperate.

Trudeau first ran into trouble with the FTC in the late 1990s when he agreed to settle a charge for hosting a series of intentionally deceptive infomercials designed to look like radio and TV news interviews. The settlement stipulated that Trudeau could no longer appear in video advertisements.

However, the agreement provided for no conditions for literature. Trudeau claimed that the weight-loss plan described in his book was easy to follow, could be done at home, and allowed people to eat whatever they wanted. Consumers purchased the book based on these promises, but found that it described a complex plan that required near-starvation level dieting, daily injections of a prescription drug that consumers could not easily get, and lifelong restrictions on what people could eat.

Consumers should deposit or cash checks within 60 days of the mailing date. Those who deposit or cash their checks may receive future proceeds if funds become available.