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TV pitchman may avoid jail over diet claims due to gov't shutdown

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   CHICAGO (AP) - A television pitchman accused of pushing false information during his late-night infomercials could avoid jail because of the government shutdown.

   The Federal Trade Commission sued Kevin Trudeau, alleging he made misleading statements about his weight-loss books. Trudeau says he's unable to pay a $37 million judgment, and the FTC wants him jailed until he proves his financial assets.

   But because of the government shutdown, FTC lawyers aren't getting paid. They were expected to ask a judge during a Friday hearing in Chicago to jail Trudeau, but they requested that the hearing be indefinitely delayed.

   The judge briefly jailed Trudeau last month and warned he could do it again.

   Trudeau's attorney didn't return a message Thursday. A voicemail for FTC lawyers said they couldn't respond until "the government ... resumes operation."

 

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