Kevin Trudeau, infomercial pitchman and best selling author was sentenced Monday to 10 years imprisonment. With an additional 5 years supervised federal probation after his release on criminal contempt charges.
You remember Kevin Trudeau. He is the late night snake oil salesman who sold you “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”,”Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” and “Debt Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” touting them in commercials with a news-interview formats.
Kevin Trudeau didn’t want you to know.
What you really didn’t know about was Kevin Trudeau was found guilty last November of violating a 2004 federal court settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that barred him from misrepresenting the contents of his books in advertisements. It was after that 2004 conviction that Trudeau went back to his old ways with his weight loss book.
Kevin Trudeau would keep you up late at night in his 2006 and 2007 infomercials (which aired around 32,000 times) explaining that if you just bought his book there was no need to diet. No need to exercise. After purchasing his book you learned the simple secret of walk every day and exist on a 500 calorie a day diet. Federal prosecutors found that to be a violation of the terms previously set forth. A jury agreed and U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman said during his sentencing, Kevin Trudeau once even used his own mother’s Social Security number in a scheme.
Kevin Trudeau didn’t want to hear.
Judge Guzman exposed Kevin Trudeau, who claimed the U.S. government was out to get him. Kevin Trudeau accused agencies and other vested interests of conspiring to suppress low-cost, common remedies to diseases, including cancer.
Guzman said, “Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain. “He has treated federal court orders as if they were mere suggestions … or impediments to be side-stepped, out-maneuvered or just ignored,” the judge said. He is deceitful to the very core, and that type of conduct simply cannot stand.”
What Kevin Trudeau wanted the judge to know.
Prior to his sentencing Kevin Trudeau had a statement for the court. Dressed in an orange jump suit, his normally dyed hair showing its true gray, said prison life had caused him to reform and apologized to his family, prosecutors and the people who had bought his books.
“I have absolutely learned a life-changing lesson from all of this. I have truly had a significant reawakening. If I ever do an infomercial again … I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies.”
Sure sounds to me like he’s a changed man. Doesn’t it you? Kevin Trudeau made an estimated $39 million dollars from his fraudulent lies. But his attorneys thought a 10 year sentence harsh. Defense attorney Tom Kirsch said the harm Trudeau caused was minor compared to fraud in which some people are cheated out of their life savings.
“A 10-year sentence might be appropriate for a defendant who destroyed lives,” Kirsch said. “(But) Trudeau — if he swindled anyone — swindled them out of $30 (the price of the book).”
It was only a $30 lie. One he perpetrated over 850,000 times. Another defense attorney, Carolyn Gurland, added that Trudeau’s legal troubles had already cost him his businesses and his home, and nearly all his other worldly possessions.
“He has a suitcase containing his personal artifacts. That’s what he has left.”
Well counselors, if you feel so bad for Kevin Trudeau and as if he has somehow been mistreated by the U.S. district court or the public he swindled you can always forego your fee. The only reason he is broke now is because he was found guilty in civil court as well and ordered to pay a $37 million judgment.
Kevin Trudeau said he couldn’t pay the judgment because he’s broke. But FTC lawyers are accusing him of hiding money in shell companies and are not backing down.