A federal judge sentenced TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau Monday to 10 years in prison for bilking consumers through his infomercials.
In November, jurors convicted Trudeau of defying a court order barring him from running infomercials that made false claims about his book, "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About."
Prosecutors say he aired the infomercials anyway, at least 32,000 times.
Before sentencing, Judge Ronald Guzman described Trudeau as "deceitful to the very core," and said he "requires a sentence that will deter him from future conduct of the same type."
"Since the age of 25, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own individual gain," Guzman said in court. "He has treated federal court orders as if they were merely suggestions ... to be mistreated, side-stepped or ignored."
Trudeau asked for leniency in court, promising to be a "better person."
"I had a true awakening since being incarcerated four months ago," Trudeau said. "I've been stripped of ego, defiance, arrogance and pride. It's made me a better person. I'm not the same person I was seven years ago when I made the infomercial."
"I wish I could turn back the clock and never made the statements I made in the infomercials. Making those statements were a mistake and I am sorry."
Trudeau also apologized to anyone who bought his book and felt misled.
The 10-year sentence was requested by prosecutors, while defense lawyers contended Trudeau should serve less than two years for his criminal-contempt conviction.
"There is no doubt that along the way some people have been helped by what he's done," Guzman said. "But this case is about his refusal to follow court orders. To tell people the truth. That's just not that hard."
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