Kevin Trudeau must like getting strangers to buy stuff . . . with claims that defy belief. He seems to have done well at drawing money from people who want to believe more than they do believe. So well that, since 1998, the Federal Trade Commission has tried to shut him up.
Today the Seventh Circuit cut back on an FTC win against Mr. Trudeau. The district court found that he had lied on TV about his diet book — The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About — and that the fibs ran afoul of a consent decree in which he vowed to tell only the truth. The court went on to fine him $37.6 million — to repay losses to book-buyers — and to ban him from doing any more "infomercials". But the Seventh Circuit panel, which upheld the finding that calling the diet "easy" and "simple" amounted to lying, tossed the fine and the ban, holding that the lower court didn't say enough about why it imposed them. Federal Trade Comm'n v. Trudeau , No. 08-4249 (7th Cir. Aug. 27, 2009).