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."
The head of the Food and Drug Administration says writing a new menu labeling law "has gotten extremely thorny" as the agency tries to figure out who should be covered by it.
The 2010 health care law charged the FDA with requiring restaurants and other establishments that serve food to put calorie counts on menus and in vending machines. The agency issued a proposed rule in 2011, but the final rules have since been delayed as some non-restaurant establishments have lobbied hard to be exempt.
The FDA has said the rules may come out this spring, but the agency may not meet that deadline.