Respectful Insolence

Although I don’t want to distract (too much) from an interview I’m flogging today, I can’t help but take note of an lovely development in the world of quackery. Everybody’s favorite quackery promoter and financial scammer Kevin Trudeau has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his scams:

Best-selling author Kevin Trudeau, whose name became synonymous with late-night TV pitches, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for bilking consumers through ubiquitous infomercials for his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”

As he imposed the sentence prosecutors had requested, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman portrayed the 50-year-old Trudeau as a habitual fraudster going back to his early adulthood. So brazen was Trudeau, the judge said, he once even used his own mother’s Social Security number in a scheme.

“Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” Guzman said, adding that Trudeau is “deceitful to the very core.”

The only thing I can’t figure out is why it took so long to bring this criminal to justice and throw the book at him. Not surprisingly, Trudeau has turned to God and claims he’s a “changed man”:

Addressing the judge earlier in a 10-minute statement, Trudeau apologized and said he’s become a changed man. He said he’s meditated, prayed and read self-help books while locked up at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

“I have truly had a significant reawakening,” said Trudeau, who was dressed in orange jail clothes. “If I ever do an infomercial again … I promise: No embellishments, no puffery, no lies.”

The only “awakening” he’s had is that this time he’s finally not going to get away with it yet again.

Now, you are going to go back and listen to that interview, aren’t you?

Comments

  1. #1 palindrom
    March 18, 2014

    I just love his jailhouse conversion. Did he honestly expect anyone to believe him?

  2. #2 JKW
    Danville, Tri-state Area
    March 18, 2014

    I liked how the prosecutors called him out for each iteration of violating the previous court order calling him to stop with the infomercial lies. Now he turns to god to justify hiding up to $37 million in offshore accounts? I would imagine that his new neighbors will be interested in his treasure.

  3. #3 StrangerInAStrangeLand
    March 18, 2014

    A fraud and god – a match made in heaven.

  4. #4 dedicated lurker
    March 18, 2014

    Good. He’s a complete scammer and I don’t think he believes a word of what he says. (As opposed to say, Mike Adams, who I think does believe all those crazy things.)

  5. #5 Pareidolius
    March 18, 2014

    Embellishment, Puffery & Lies.” What a perfect name for his Lifetime Original Movie™.

  6. #6 VdG
    March 18, 2014

    If you’re claiming a Christian awakening and seeking forgiveness, that’s for the afterlife. I figure someone who’s truly repentant should accept their earthly punishment with good grace.

  7. #7 Anthony
    March 18, 2014

    “The only “awakening” he’s had is that this time he’s finally not going to get away with it yet again.”

    We can hope, but he’s only 50 and it’s only 10 years (with possible time off for good behavior). There’s a good chance he’ll still be vigorous enough to engage in fraud when he leaves prison.

  8. #8 Narad
    March 18, 2014

    with possible time off for good behavior

    That’s still 8 years and 259 days for his wife and “former colleagues” to squander the loot and for other scammers to make him irrelevant by the end of 2022.

  9. #9 Shay
    March 18, 2014

    I dunno, palindrom. I witnessed a number of young Marines’ come-to-Jesus moments after they’d spent a couple days in the brig.

    The reformation rarely survived their first week of freedom, though.

  10. #10 Narad
    March 18, 2014

    ^ (Minus time already served, I suppose.)

  11. #11 Jeff1971
    March 18, 2014

    Trudeau today; the Geiers and Wakefield tomorrow…

  12. #12 Eric Lund
    March 18, 2014

    Did he honestly expect anyone to believe him?

    Yes. People have always believed him before. Not everybody, of course, but enough people for him to have amassed a tidy sum of money.

    Now if you were asking whether he expected the judge (who in this case is the one whose opinion matters) to believe it, that is a good question.

  13. #13 Bogeymama
    March 18, 2014

    I hope he rots for at least a few years. I once had a patient bring a copy of his book to me (not the weight loss one, one of the other “miracle cure” ones) and wave it at me while telling me how we pharmacists and doctors should be ashamed of ourselves for hiding the cures so we could profit. I calmly tried to rebut, but she was firmly convinced.

    Maybe he only defrauded people $30 at a time, but his infomercials were so well done I’m sure that he is part of the reason people have lost faith and trust in health care workers over the last 15-20 years.

  14. #14 herr doktor bimler
    March 18, 2014

    Trudeau apologized and said he’s become a changed man.
    As people have already pointed out, Trudeau was convicted for (a) not paying $38 million restitution, and (b) not coughing up the bank-account details which could prove his claim to be so broke he can barely support his life-style. He can demonstrate true contrition at any time by delivering on (a) or (b).

  15. #15 lordshipmayhem
    March 18, 2014

    The thing about believing in gods is that once you’ve been forgiven by your invisible friend, that leaves you free to go out and pull the same stunt again.

    Some of the biggest fraudsters and shysters are the pastors and preachers. He’s in excellent company.

  16. #16 Spectator
    March 18, 2014

    “He said he’s meditated, prayed and read self-help books…”

    Which ones?

    Sorry, that’s a Secret.

  17. #17 Marie
    March 18, 2014

    What’s funny is Trudeau’s supporter’s reaction to the the story. They have found a big conspiracy theory of course– claiming he received this sentence only because he “told the truth about ‘Big Pharma’ and the FDA”.

  18. #18 rancidbrainmatter
    March 18, 2014

    Sadly, he will appeal. Perhaps Jesus will get him to cooperate and give the money back to the marks.

  19. #19 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    March 18, 2014

    What’s he going to appeal? His conviction? On what legal grounds? As for the sentence, I would imagine that the judge used federal sentencing guidelines. It’s pretty hard to appeal from that.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    March 18, 2014

    And straight fron woo-central:

    @ PRN, today ( last 5 minutes of tape) Null tells his woo-ful RN that Trudeau made promises about cures whereas he, himself only gives *insight*. Unlike Trudeau, all of his material is “vetted” ** because he goes on PBS fund drives.

    ** does the vet spay or neuter though?

  21. #21 Matt Carey
    March 18, 2014

    “The only thing I can’t figure out is why it took so long to bring this criminal to justice and throw the book at him. ”

    Because the criminal justice system has shown such a good track record of trying charlatans?

  22. #22 Art
    March 18, 2014

    Anyone want to make a bet he doesn’t incorporate his jail time into the theme that the powers that be are persecuting and prosecuting him to keep the secrets he sells secret?

    What do you think are the odds he doesn’t sell his experience being prosecuted and doing time in a book ‘How to Survive and Thrive under Government Persecution and Live and Grow in Jail’?

    His MO has always been to gather up tips, tidbits and factoids, punch them up with stories and accounts of how well they work, collect them into a loosely organized book, and sell the pile as secrets “they” don’t want you to know.
    Hint: he makes almost as much off the S&H as the book itself.

  23. #23 Narad
    March 18, 2014

    As for the sentence, I would imagine that the judge used federal sentencing guidelines.

    Nope, that would have been 20–25 years, according to the Tribune article.

  24. […] Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years: File under “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy&#8221… […]

  25. #25 Spectator
    March 18, 2014

    “Nope, that would have been 20–25 years, according to the Tribune article.”

    If you’re going to do the crime, make sure it’s a big haul.
    Without the cash reserves Trudeau might have gotten the full sentence. Unfortunately he won’t be changed or improved when he gets out.

    Liberals don’t and never will get why some people should be removed from society.

  26. #26 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    March 18, 2014

    lordshipmayhem @#15:

    If you believe, that, then clearly you are using your faith in all the wrong ways.

    Isn’t the whole point of being religious trying to be as good a person as possible and not trying to pull stunts like that? Clearly, this is lost on a lot of people (Trudeau included), and that’s why I think many people needlessly turn to atheism.

    And IMO that’s a crying shame.

  27. #27 Shay
    March 18, 2014

    @Spectator:

    I’m a liberal and there a number of people out there that I’d gladly remove from society. Permanently.

    This is not permitted, though, so I just have to sit back and cheer the judge.

  28. #28 Alain
    March 18, 2014

    @Shay,

    That rang close to home. I want to remove a f*cking psychopath worse than the one I met many years ago from the society. You’ll hear it in the news in a few days.

    Alain

  29. #29 Alain
    March 18, 2014

    Just so that you don’t worry, I don’t intend to remove the guy from society myself, just that the justice system in QC will take care of him with my help. For a f*cking long time.

    Alain

  30. #30 Lurker
    March 19, 2014

    More good news today: Australian anti-vaxxers hit.

    The org formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network just got whacked by Australian authorities: Its tax-exempt status has been revoked, and it has been forced to change its name to the Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network. (Too bad that they get to use the word ‘sceptic,’ but on balance I think we can live with that.)

    Rather than me post a link here that will need to get vetted before it goes up, keyword-search it on DuckDuckGo, and you should find links to the news.

  31. #31 Lurker
    March 19, 2014

    It’s quite clear that Trudeau meets the definition of a sociopath (US term) or psychopath (UK term), from his history of repeated fraud and his use of blatantly manipulative tactics to attempt to evade justice.

    Re.Shay @ 25: IMHO anyone convicted of a crime of violence or fraud, and diagnosed as a psychopath or sociopath by court-appointed psychiatrists, should be committed to psychiatric hospital for life or until there is a medically-approved treatment with high reliability (which there presently is not).

    That would ‘take them out of society’ effectively. The problem though, as with prisons, is that a concentrated population of psychopaths/sociopaths is a mutual educational opportunity where they can (and do) teach each other new tricks of the trade. For which reason they should be isolated as far as possible without violating their human rights, and allowed to interact with others only in the context of structured activities that are closely supervised.

    Re. Gary Null: The jokes write themselves: Null hypothesis supported, Null set, Null results, etc. If you used that name in a fictionalised script about his antics, it would be rejected by Hollywood as too obvious.

  32. #32 AC
    March 19, 2014

    I wish Mike Adams was next…

    Luker @ 30:
    Go Australia!!

  33. #33 Narad
    March 19, 2014

    The org formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network just got whacked by Australian authorities: Its tax-exempt status has been revoked….

    I find it hilarious that Dorey, in the ABC Online comments at least, is claiming that they’ve being trying to shed this burden for years in light of, say, this.

  34. #34 Helianthus
    March 19, 2014

    @ Lucario

    Isn’t the whole point of being religious trying to be as good a person as possible and not trying to pull stunts like that?

    At the risk of derailing…

    The point of being religious is to be good? Maybe.
    Depends on the religion and on what is your definition of good. Aztecs were very religious; mongols were very religious (or at least animists); but it did’t stop either to commit atrocities. And both didn’t feel bad about it.
    Were their atrocities religion-based? In the latter case, I don’t think so. In the former case, yes. Human torture and sacrifice were the basis of Aztec religious rituals.
    As my mom like to say, thanks goodness God has large shoulders. With all the stinky deeds we do but which responsibilities we blame on Him…

    Now, the point of being a religious leader? Like any position of authority, it’s prone to attract the wrong type of people. If religions were a bit more thorough at policing their ordained ranks rather than hiding their black sheep (I’m looking at you, Mr Pope)…
    So, back on topic by saying being – or pretending to be – religious shouldn’t be a “get free of jail” card.

  35. #35 Spectator
    March 19, 2014

    @Luciano.
    “Isn’t the whole point of being religious trying to be as good a person as possible and not trying to pull stunts like that?”

    Depends on your definition of good.
    To “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” is defined as good in one popular religion. The unbelievers may disagree, albeit temporarily.

  36. #36 Denice Walter
    March 19, 2014

    @ Lurker:

    re Gary Null
    Whilst he’s not about to be tossed into the slammer ( if only), there may be some very good news concerning this charlatan.

    Although he broadcasts via his own internet PR system ( PRN), he also is featured on public airwaves and other networks. He is in process of being discarded by one of those media outlets after having been in a war ( partially on air) with them ( Pacifica). He’s out in Caliifornia and Washington, possibly New York as well, already . They’ve allowed him to air his informercials… er *radio shows* for decades- which has enriched him because of the publicity and the stations’ payment for the “premiums” he supplies which they distribute to those who pledge money.

    When he’s totally *persona non grata* there, it’s one less path to wealth for him. ( unfortunately, like vampires, he has a way of returning from the crypt to feast upon the unwary).

    These stations ( e.g. WBAI) have live broadcasting over the web so we might see what transpires.

  37. #37 Eric Lund
    March 19, 2014

    Isn’t the whole point of being religious trying to be as good a person as possible and not trying to pull stunts like that? Clearly, this is lost on a lot of people (Trudeau included), and that’s why I think many people needlessly turn to atheism.

    Not all dishonest people claim to be religious, and not all who claim to be religious are dishonest, but in my experience these two traits are often found together. And I suspect they are correlated: the more loudly someone professes his religion, the more closely I keep track of my wallet. This is a rational response to the numbers of religious charlatans who operate in the US. Which is unfortunate for the people who are sincere about their religion. A few are fighting back–I can recommend Fred Clark’s blog Slacktivist if you want to read about it–but not nearly enough.

  38. #38 Shay
    March 19, 2014

    Eric — Speaking as a Christian and retired military professional, anyone or anything with “Truth” “God” or “Patriot” in the title and I keep my hand on my wallet, too.

    It’s like never buying a car from a dealership called “Honest John’s.”

  39. #39 Militant Agnostic
    March 19, 2014

    @Eric Lund

    the more loudly someone professes his religion, the more closely I keep track of my wallet.

    @Shay

    Speaking as a Christian and retired military professional, anyone or anything with “Truth” “God” or “Patriot” in the title and I keep my hand on my wallet, too.

    In addition, I find that the more loudly someone proclaims their IQ or Mensa membership, the more likely it is that they are a complete idiot – willfully stupid or otherwise.

  40. #40 RobRN
    March 19, 2014

    Yes… “Truth”, “God” or “Patriot” brings up the hackles with me every time I see or hear the terms! For example, it’s near impossible to EVER substitute “supportable facts” for “Truth” over at NaturalNews!

  41. #41 Narad
    March 22, 2014

    So, I went to check whether Trudeau had been transferred from MCC yet (no), and along the way, I noticed that one Cosmic Connie has been on the Inner Weirdness beat for years, in case anyone is in the mood for a distraction in this vein.

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