U.S. TV pitchman Trudeau to be sentenced Monday, faces 10 years

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 17, 2014 12:54 PM

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau, who was convicted last year of criminal contempt for exaggerating the contents of his weight-loss books in infomercials, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced by a federal judge on Monday.

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.

A jury found Trudeau violated the agreement while marketing his book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You To Know About," in infomercials made in 2006 and 2007 that aired about 32,000 times.

Trudeau told viewers in the infomercials that the "cure" to obesity was not a diet and did not require exercise, but the book instructed readers to walk an hour each day and to limit intake to 500 calories.

Prosecutors, who said Trudeau's actions resulted in over $37 million in losses to consumers, are asking for 10 years in prison.

"Throughout his career, defendant has been motivated by simple greed, and he has funded and protected a lavish lifestyle by bilking consumers and defying court orders," prosecutors said in court documents.

Defense attorneys for Trudeau have asked for no more than 21 months in prison, based on the criminal contempt conviction alone and not for fraud, for which they said he has not been charged.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Scott Malone and Andrea Ricci)