Infomercial pitchman loses appeal of huge fine
Reuters news service reports that a federal appeals court has ruled that TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau must pay a $37.6 million fine for violating a Federal Trade Commission settlement over his TV marketing of supposed cures for AIDS, hair loss, memory loss, obesity and financial woes.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the penalty might even be too small, Reuters said.
Trudeau had argued that a federal district judge had incorrectly based the fine on consumer losses rather than on Trudeau’s financial gain from sales, Reuters reported. He also challenged the judge’s imposition of a $2 million bond to ensure compliance as a First Amendment violation.
However, the 7th Circuit held that the fine was fair in that Trudeau, flouting the 2004 FTC settlement, broadcast his commercials more than 32,000 times.