Skip to main content

Television pitchman Kevin Trudeau is headed to prison

By Leslie Holland, CNN
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday
  • The TV pitchman and author was convicted by a jury in 2013
  • Trudeau was found guilty of misrepresenting his weight-loss books
  • Prosecutors called Trudeau an "uncontrollable huckster"

(CNN) -- Kevin Trudeau, the television pitchman and author who amassed a fortune telling consumers his secrets about how to get free money, how to lose weight and how to cure a number of illnesses the natural way, is headed to federal prison.

Trudeau, 51, was sentenced to 10 years on Monday for criminal contempt for violating a 2004 federal court order that prohibited him from making misleading infomercials and misrepresenting his weight-loss books.

During Monday's sentencing hearing he also got a tongue-lashing from U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

"Since the age of 25, (Trudeau) has attempted to cheat others for his own personal gain," Guzman said.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors called Trudeau an "unrepentant, untiring, and uncontrollable huckster who has defrauded the unsuspecting for 30 years."

Trudeau was convicted of criminal contempt by a jury in November 2013 and has been in federal custody since his conviction.

Evidence was presented at his trial that Trudeau appeared in three infomercials in 2006 and 2007, and in those infomercials he misrepresented the contents of one of his weight-loss books.

The U.S. attorney said those infomercials were not only untrue, but they violated the 2004 court order that prohibited the infomercials.

According to his book covers, several of his books have been number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

Trudeau's defense attorney, Tom Kirsch, told CNN on Monday night that his client intends to file a notice of appeal in the case.

2010: Trudeau in contempt of court

CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT