No Slammer for the Spammer

Federal appeals panel grants a reprieve

No slammer for the spammer!

A federal appeals panel today stayed infomercial king Kevin Trudeau's 30-day jail sentence, which the pitchman received after bombarding U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman with e-mail last week.

The appeals court gave no reason for the stay and granted it on the condition that Trudeau not do anything to generate more e-mails, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Trudeau was due to report to prison this afternoon.

His lawyer filed an emergency motion with the 7th Circuit Court of appeals asking for his release pending the appeal of a contempt of court sentence that was imposed after he organized a mass email campaign designed to influence a Federal judge.

"He believes that he was simply exercising his First Amendment rights and was permissibly encouraging others to do the same," the statement read.

Gettleman sees it differently and sentenced him to 30-days in the clink.

"If this is not direct contempt, I don't know what is" Gettleman said about his brimming inbox.

He's due to report to marshals in U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman's courtroom at 2:15 p.m. today.

Gettleman was not amused by the hundreds of testimonials for the so-called natural cures pitchman urges his supporters to send to the judge who's sitting on a civil case related to his suspect "natural cures" advertisements.

The judge backed up his words when he held the slick-tongued salesman in contempt last week, and more so when he hit him with a 30-day sentence today.

Trudeau must report to marshals by 2:15 p.m. Thursday for his confinement. But the month stint and $50,000 fine is small potatoes compared with the real meat of the case.

Trudeau has been involved in a long-running court fight with the

Federal Trade Commission, which says some of his advertising for his "Natural Cures" books is misleading.

Gettleman is presiding over that civil trial, and has already ordered Trudeau to pay $37 million for violating a 2004 order relating to his book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”

Trudeau continued to publish and advertise similar texts. Trudeau has apologized for urging his supporters to write the letters.

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