Kevin Trudeau, a diet and disease cure-all peddler who has a rich history with the FTC, just earned himself a fat 30 days in jail for encouraging his fans and followers to email a U.S. District Judge. Last Wednesday, Trudeau posted a request on his website asking supporters to email the judge who is presiding over an FTC civil suit against him. The idea, apparently, was for Trudeau’s happy customers to convince Judge Robert Gettleman to go easy on the pitchman. Instead, it had the opposite effect.
From Chicago Breaking News:
Trudeau sat with a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face as the normally mild-mannered Gettleman lectured his lawyer about the e-mail onslaught — all the while being interrupted on the bench as new messages continued to hit his inbox.
“Just got another one,” said the judge, who earlier had turned his computer screen so attorneys in the case could see the incoming barrage for themselves. “Every time you hear that little bell.”
One of the problems with asking people who buy quack cures to vouch for you is you might be uncorking a bottle of crazy. Apparently that’s what happened to at least a small degree in this case, with some email correspondents telling Judge Gettleman that they were angry about Trudeau’s predicament, and “others who ‘said they are watching,’ a vaguely threatening note that prompted Gettleman to ask the U.S. Marshal Service in Chicago to assess if any of the messages amounted to a threat.”
Trudeau’s chewing-out happened last week, after which he apologized and quickly posted an update that read, “Please do not under any circumstances communicate with the court or Judge Gettleman. I apologize for this mistake. Yours in Health, Kevin.”
But today Judge Gettleman–who also found Trudeau in contempt in 2006 for violating a permanent injunction from 2004–sentenced him to 30 days in jail for contempt of court starting tomorrow, and ordered him to forfeit a $50,000 bond.
“Infomercial pitchman gets 30 days for e-mails to judge” [Chicago Breaking News] (Thanks to squinko!)