False advertising is still a crime, provided you aren't in the Obama Administration

Barack Obama sounds like he’s just a few desperate days away from hosting late-night infomercials to hawk ObamaCare.  Maybe he can take over the TV time slots vacated by Kevin Trudeau, who just got the book thrown at him for making false and misleading claims about his self-help books.  The Associated Press reports on his 10-year prison sentence:

Jurors convicted Trudeau of criminal contempt in November for defying a 2004 court order barring him from running false ads about the weight-loss book. Despite the order, he aired the infomercials at least 32,000 times, according to prosecutors.

He sold more than 850,000 copies of the weight-loss book, generating $39 million in revenue, prosecutors say. And the judge agreed with prosecutors that the amount of loss stemming from Trudeau’s deception was more than $37 million — nearly the amount in revenue.

But in remarks Monday asking for a sentence of less than two years for his client, defense attorney Tom Kirsch said the harm Trudeau caused was minor compared to fraud in which some people are cheated out of their life savings.

“A 10-year sentence might be appropriate for a defendant who destroyed lives,” Kirsch said. “(But) Trudeau — if he swindled anyone — swindled them out of $30 (the price of the book).”

It seems to be Trudeau’s violation of previous court orders that got him in really hot water.  If you count each deceptive infomercial he produced in defiance of the courts as a separate infraction, he’s got about 32,000 counts against him.

But then again, he didn’t ruin a trillion-dollar industry with demonstrably false promises, leave millions of people without health insurance, put lives in jeopardy by interfering with critical medical treatments, or blow a billion confiscated dollars on a crap website.  Maybe his sentence should be commuted to federal service, and the Department of Health and Human Services could put him in charge of the last-ditch “get covered” push to sucker young people into ObamaCare.  He couldn’t possibly do a worse job than the brain trust that decided to use a combination of stern orders from our simulated mothers and animated GIFs of kittens and pandas.

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