U.S. TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau, who was convicted last year of criminal contempt for exaggerating the contents of his weight-loss book in infomercials, was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison.
In 2004 the notorious TV huckster was ordered to stop making misleading infomercials and misrepresenting his book, The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. But instead of stopping, Kevin Trudeau did the opposite, airing the infomercial more than 32,000 times and selling 850,000 copies of his book.
During the infomercials, Trudeau told viewers that the “cure” to obesity was not a diet and did not require exercise. So what’s the secret cure “they” don’t want you to know? Gastric bypass surgery? Hydroxycut? Hypnosis?
No, it turns out it is diet and exercise – well, not so much diet as starvation. When viewers bought the book, hoping to find some kind of miracle cure, it instructed them to walk an hour each day and to limit intake to 500 calories.
Prosecutors said Trudeau’s trickery resulted in over $37 million in losses to consumers and pushed for a 10 year sentence, arguing Trudeau was motivated by simple greed.
Kevin Trudeau tried to pull his old TV pitch in court, claiming he “truly had a significant reawakening” and had “absolutely learned a life-changing lesson from all of this.” Trudeau even insisted he’s meditated, prayed and read self-help books while locked up at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.
“If I ever do an infomercial again … I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies,” he pleaded.
But Judge Ronald Guzman wasn’t having any of it.
“Since his twenties, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” Guzman said, acknowledging the 50-year-old Trudeau as a habitual fraudster with decades of fraud under his belt, including using his own mother’s Social Security number to con people.
“He is deceitful to the very core, and that type of conduct simply cannot stand,” Guzman continued, adding that Trudeau had thumbed his nose at the justice system by violating multiple court orders since the 1990s.
10 years may seem like a long time to spend in prison for swindling consumers out of $30, but at least it will give him the time he needs to work on his next book: Prison Escape Plans “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.