Too-good-to-be-true TV infomercial star and best-selling author Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Monday for defrauding millions of people with a phony weight-loss book.
"Since the age of 25, [Trudeau] has attempted to cheat others for his own personal gain," U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman said at the 51-year-old's sentencing Monday, adding that the scam artist was "deceitful to the core."
A jury convicted Trudeau for violating a 2004 court order that prohibited him from running misleading ads for his bestseller The Weight Loss Cure 'They Don't Want You To Know About, which encouraged 500-calorie-a-day diets and hormone treatments. In spite of the order, Trudeau reportedly ran infomercials for the book 32,000 times.
The NYT bestseller sold 850,000 copies and created $39 million in revenue, but when Trudeau was fined $37 million he claimed to be broke — and that he didn't know where he put $100,000 in gold bars he bought.
While Trudeau's defense claimed that the 10-year sentencing over a $30 book was "overblown and unfair", Guzman noted that the huckster had been violating similar court orders since the 90's.
Trudeau sold millions of other books including Debt Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About and Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About and was fined $2 million by the FTC for claiming that Coral Calcium could cure cancer.
Trudeau's attorneys plan to appeal the case.