March 23, 2010

PSA : Keeping ones mouth shut

Everyone LOVES to brag about their accomplishments. Whether it's something as meaningless as finally gaining the ability to practice law in Texas or as inspiring as making the perfect waffle, people want to share what they're doing and what they're particularly good out.

Even the skeeziest ho will tell you tales, even if you don't ask them, of their sexual talents and how often they've used them. So, yeah, it's human nature to brag, especially about how well you're doing in business. However, even the most inept lawyer would advise their master criminal clients not to, you know, GO ON TV AND SHARE DETAILS OF THEIR CRIMES.

The San Marcos husband and wife, who went on the popular show and trumpeted their moneymaking scheme of shoplifting toys and reselling them on the Internet, were sentenced to prison yesterday by a federal judge.

And Dr. Phil McGraw didn’t get off too easy, either.

District Judge Irma Gonzalez sentenced Matthew Eaton, 34, to 27 months in prison — one year more than prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office thought was sufficient punishment.

Nora Eaton, 27, was sentenced to one year and one day in custody.

Gonzalez had little sympathy for Matthew Eaton, calling his conduct in running the scheme over two years “despicable.”

But first she went off on McGraw, the TV psychologist who dispenses help on his syndicated show with such catchphrases as the sharp “Get real!” the disdainful “How’s that working for you?” and the unusual “Did you fall out of the dumb tree?”

“What a charlatan this man is,” the judge said during the hearing. “What a terrible, terrible man.”

Gonzalez was perturbed that McGraw holds himself out as a doctor wishing to help. But, the judge said to Matthew Eaton, “he obviously didn’t help you.”

Matthew Eaton’s lawyer said the couple went on the show seeking help for their chronic shoplifting problem. On the program, however, they came across as bragging about their exploits and not appearing particularly troubled.

Instead of helping them, producers egged them on to exaggerate their cases, said defense lawyer Leila Morgan. And the only help they got was free copies of McGraw’s books, she said.

The show was broadcast in November 2008 and, perhaps not surprisingly, it caught the attention of federal law enforcement. A search of the couple’s home in March 2009 revealed about 500 boxes of toys awaiting shipment.

My favorite part was Judge Gonzalez dressing down Dr. Phil who richly deserves it. Thank you, Oprah, for sharing Dr. Phil with the whole world.

Posted by mcblogger at March 23, 2010 09:38 AM

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