Fox News reports that (in)famous TV infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau has been sentenced to ten years in prison for cheating consumers with his book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”
Trudeau made a career out of setting himself up as someone who was constantly fighting the system. He took on as his foil the ubiquitous “they” that most people are sure must be out there. He claimed to be constantly fighting against authority figures (the Food and Drug Administration, etc.) that did not want you to know about all-natural ways to lose weight, cure diseases, and other reliefs.
Ironically, Trudeau’s sentence may serve to reinforce the story he has spun, The Man finally caught up to him, threw him in prison to silence him and prevent him from telling the rest of us all the secrets he knows about.
But U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman did not see Trudeau as a Robin Hood hero, bringing stolen knowledge back to the people. He pointed out that Trudeau has been a huckster for decades, even once using his own mother’s Social Security number in one of his schemes.
“Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” Guzman said.
Trudeau did not argue with the judge that his “cures” were valid. He did not challenge the judge as one of the “they” trying to keep him down. Instead, he presented himself as a changed man.
“I have truly had a significant reawakening,” said Trudeau. “If I ever do an infomercial again, I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies.”
But Judge Guzman was not moved.
“He has treated federal court orders as if they were mere suggestions … or impediments to be side-stepped, out-maneuvered or just ignored,” Guzman said.
The sentence followed upon a conviction by jury because Trudeau had defied a court order to not air any more lying claims about his weight loss book. Trudeau had aired his infomercials 32,000 more times since that court order, making another $39 million.
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