A judge in California has berated TV self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw while sentencing a shoplifting couple who featured on his show - calling the reality star a "charlatan" and a "terrible man".

Matthew and Laura Eaton appeared on the Dr. Phil program in 2008, claiming to have made $1 million over seven years by stealing from shops and then reselling the goods online. Authorities eventually caught up with the pair and they were handed prison sentences at a court in San Diego, California on Monday.

And District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez had some harsh words for the TV star at the sentencing hearing - blasting McGraw for featuring the couple on his show.

She told the court, "What a charlatan this man is. What a terrible, terrible man."