In brief: Pitchman Trudeau sentenced for fraud
CHICAGO – 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.
Trudeau, whose trademark dyed black hair turned partially gray as he awaited sentencing in jail, showed little emotion as the stiff sentence was handed down at the hearing in Chicago.
Addressing the judge earlier, Trudeau apologized and said he’s become a changed man. 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.
General pleads guilty in sex case
DURHAM, N.C. – Brig. Gen. Jeffery Sinclair formally pleaded guilty Monday morning to maltreating a subordinate under his command, telling a military judge in halting voice that he deceived her during their illicit three-year affair and caused her “emotional distress.”
Sinclair, one of only a handful of generals to face a court-martial in the past 60 years, also pleaded guilty to twice misusing his government charge card to pursue the affair, disobeying an order not to contact his mistress, and making derogatory comments about other female officers. The military judge, Col. James L. Pohl, accepted the pleas.
Third person dies from SXSW injuries
HOUSTON – A third person injured in last week’s South by Southwest crash has died.
Sandy Thuy Le, 26, had been treated at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, Texas, where relatives announced her death Monday.
Le, of Pass Christian, Miss., was injured after being hit by a car outside the Mohawk nightclub last Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office told KVUE.
Arts patron, heiress Mellon dies at 103
RICHMOND, Va. – Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a wealthy arts and fashion patron, friend of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and political benefactor who funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to former presidential candidate John Edwards that was used to hide his mistress, died Monday. She was 103.
Mellon’s family and her longtime personal attorney said she died of natural causes at her beloved 4,000-acre Oak Spring Farms in Virginia’s horse country, where she entertained royalty, stars and politicians but from which she rarely ventured.