Judy: (to defendant) Listen to me! I'm older, smarter; if you live to be a hundred and twenty, you're not going to be as smart as I am in one finger. You may weigh more, but you won't be smarter than I am in one finger.
Sure, the defendant didn't have to pay it (the production team does from a $5,000 "pot", with whatever remains being divided between the participants; if the ruling's for the maximum amount, the loser gets nothing), there's a consequence even she did get money: the loss of dignity. Having the nation watch you on TV after Judge Judy finds out you did something nasty like screw someone out of casino winnings they won fairly (for example) will wreak havoc on your personal life when your family and friends and everyone you care about find out.
Employers these days will look up your name on the web, usually for your Facebook/Twitter account, and for any criminal records on your person. The defendant is forever marked not only as a scammer, but as "the scammer Judge Judy ripped apart on national TV". Since then, she went to prison, lost custody to her children, divorced from her husband, and went into hiding once she got out of jail. Either way, she may never be hired with such a record, and that's good enough justice.
2013?: In this case, a plaintiff and her son sued the defendant for damage to the plaintiff's car caused when the defendant's daughter crashed it. The defendant's daughter was killed in the crash and her mother was visibly devastated, sobbing openly in court. The defendant countersued for her daughter's loss of life. During the cross-examination, it was revealed that the plaintiff always left her keys in her car and even allowed her son, who didn't have a license yet, to drive it on their property.
Judy: (to plaintiff) There is something very wrong with you! Because, rather than saying to this lady ... "I can't tell you how terrible I feel that in MY HOUSE, in MY CAR, WITH THE KEYS THAT I LEAVE IN THE CAR, your daughter met such an early death." Instead of saying that, you sue her for the damage to your car! YOU'RE AN IDIOT! Judgment on the counterclaim for $5,000, your claim is DISMISSED!!!! OUT!