TV pitchman jailed after jurors find him guilty

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm •  Published: November 12, 2013
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CHICAGO (AP) — Jurors deliberated for less than an hour Tuesday before finding Kevin Trudeau guilty of criminal contempt in weeklong trial during which prosecutors accused the TV pitchman of lying in infomercials to boost sales of his diet book.

In a rare move, immediately after the verdict Judge Ronald Guzman revoked the 50-year-old's bail and ordered marshals to take him into custody. White-collar defendants are typically allowed to remain free as they await sentencing.

As the federal judge read out the verdict to a crowded courtroom in Chicago earlier Tuesday, Trudeau sat on the edge of his seat — but otherwise showed little emotion. One of his supporters wept as she left the courtroom minutes later.

Trudeau, who lives in Oak Brook, a Chicago suburb, theoretically could be sentenced to life behind bars for the criminal contempt conviction — though he's likely to receive a far less severe sentence. No sentencing date was set Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Trudeau violated a federal judge's 2004 order barring him from making false claims about his book "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About," which topped best-seller lists.

During closing arguments Tuesday morning, prosecutor Marc Krickbaum accused Trudeau of lying repeatedly about the benefits of the book in his infomercials, which were ubiquitous on late-night television.

"He made the book sound way better than it actually was," Krickbaum told jurors. "If he told the truth, that book wasn't going to sell nearly as well than if he lied."

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