Kevin Trudeau, a television pitchman and author, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday by a federal judge for cheating consumers through infomercials to promote his best-selling weight-loss book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About."
Trudeau, 51, was sentenced for criminal contempt for violating a 2004 federal court order that prohibited him from making misleading infomercials misrepresenting his book. Despite the order, he aired the infomercials at least 32,000 times, media reports said, citing prosecutors.
"Since the age of 25, [Trudeau] has attempted to cheat others for his own personal gain," U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman reportedly said during the hearing. Guzman called Trudeau "deceitful to the core,” while prosecutors called the author an "unrepentant, untiring, and uncontrollable huckster who has defrauded the unsuspecting for 30 years."
Guzman reportedly said that the deception came in Trudeau's infomercials, which misrepresented the contents of his book as laying out "a simple, no hunger ... diet-free method of losing weight" and enticing more people to buy the book that describes a grueling, 500-calorie-a-day diet, as well as hormone treatments.
Earlier in the hearing, Trudeau apologized, telling the judge that he had become a changed man and that he has meditated, prayed and read self-help books while being locked up at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center.
"I have truly had a significant reawakening," Trudeau reportedly said. "If I ever do an infomercial again ... I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies."
Trudeau was convicted of criminal contempt by a jury in November 2013 and has been in federal custody since his conviction.
"A 10-year sentence might be appropriate for a defendant who destroyed lives," defense attorney Tom Kirsch reportedly said, before adding: "Trudeau — if he swindled anyone — swindled them out of $30 [the price of the book]"
According to reports, Trudeau has sold more than 850,000 copies of his weight-loss book generating about $39 million in revenue.
Kirsch told CNN on Monday night that his client, Trudeau, intends to file a notice of appeal in the case.