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Infomercial pitchman Trudeau fined $37.6M

Dec. 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau says he'll challenge a U.S. appeals court decision upholding a $37.6 million fine against him for making deceptive claims.

Trudeau told ABC News Tuesday he would appeal to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to try to preserve his First Amendment right to speak and write what he says is the truth contained in his book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About."

His comments came after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the $37.6 million fine -- the amount the courts and the Federal Trade Commission found consumers were defrauded by deceptive infomercials in which Trudeau promoted the weight-loss book. Trudeau says he has told the truth about major pharmaceutical companies.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman had imposed the fine in a 2009 ruling in which he wrote Trudeau "falsely and intentionally led thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of consumers to believe that the Weight Loss Book would describe an 'easy,' 'simple' protocol that, once 'finished,' would allow the consumer to 'eat anything' he or she wants."

Trudeau told ABC News he is being unjustly prosecuted and denied his First Amendment rights.

"The government should not have the right to challenge what's in the book or to agree or disagree with content," he said.

He said he would ask the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal.

"If I don't get an appropriate outcome, then absolutely I'm taking it to the Supreme Court," Trudeau said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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