Prosecutors seek 10-year prison term for infomercial pitchman
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter March 12, 2014 5:06PM
Updated: April 14, 2014 11:08AM
If convicted liar Kevin Trudeau pitched his supposed miracle weight-loss book to readers by telling them the truth, it would have sold slightly more than zero copies, federal prosecutors said.
Instead, Trudeau filled his infomercials with “bald-faced lies” about a book that, in reality, contained a “grueling diet and a labyrinth of often confusing, sometimes contradictory do’s and don’ts,” they sneered.
And in doing so, they said, he took readers for more than $37 million.
For that, for Trudeau’s alleged lifetime of fraud, and for his conviction last year for criminal contempt, federal prosecutors asked a judge this week to send Trudeau to federal prison for at least 10 years when he’s sentenced Monday.
The TV pitchman and author of “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” is “motivated by simple greed,” and “has funded and protected a lavish lifestyle by bilking consumers and defying court orders,” they argued.
His lies dating back to 1984 even include “claiming to be a reverend who has the power to grant wishes in exchange for money,” they said.
But Trudeau’s lawyers said their client’s sentence should be based only on his criminal contempt conviction, not on a $37 million fraud they said “has never been charged.”
Trudeau is hardly the serial liar prosecutors contend, his attorneys told the judge; his personal characteristics “include kindness, patience, generosity and a commitment to serving people in need,” according to their filing.
“The fact of the matter … is that Trudeau changed lives for the better in a significant number of cases,” they wrote, asking for no more than 21 months in prison.
Prosecutors haven’t hesitated to use Trudeau’s own words against him, telling the judge he’s shown no remorse.
Trudeau allegedly told a probation officer he was only “technically” found guilty of making misrepresentations in infomercials, but that he “did not do anything wrong.”
He even took to Facebook after his conviction, they said, and compared himself to others who “stood silent and did not speak in their own defense.
“Jesus, Mandela, Gandhi, Chavez.”