A pitchman who was a familiar presence on TV through his late-night infomercials has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Associated Press reports that Kevin Trudeau was sentenced for cheating consumers through his commercials for his book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About."
“As he imposed the sentence prosecutors had requested, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman portrayed the 50-year-old Trudeau as a habitual fraudster going back to his early adulthood," the AP reports. "So brazen was Trudeau, the judge said, he once even used his own mother’s Social Security number in a scheme.”
Trudeau apologized and said he had changed through prayer, meditation and reading self-help books while incarcerated at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, the story adds.
"I have truly had a significant reawakening," Trudeau said. "If I ever do an infomercial again … I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies."
Trudeau sold $39 million worth of books, and the judge ruled that he cheated customers out of more than $37 million. The weight-loss book tells people to eat a 500-calorie-a-day diet and use hormone treatments, although his informercials called the book a “a simple, no-hunger … diet-free method of losing weight,” which the judge said misrepresented its contents.