Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau ordered back to jail
BY KIM JANSSEN Federak Courts Reporter October 16, 2013 4:44PM
Kevin Trudeau leaves the Metropolitan Corrections Center after his release following a one-night stay in September. | Sun-Times Media file photo
Updated: November 18, 2013 7:49AM
Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau can sit in jail until he comes clean about his hidden millions, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.
But in an ironic twist, U.S. Judge Robert Gettleman let Trudeau stay free for five more days first so that Trudeau can attend a Washington, D.C., fund-raising dinner for his legal defense.
It’s the second time in a month that Gettleman has ordered the 50-year-old convicted fraudster from Oak Brook locked up for trying to hide his assets from the court. If he doesn’t reveal all this time, he’ll likely spend far longer than the single night he spent at the Metropolitan Correctional Center last month.
“I don’t really have any alternative,” an exasperated Gettleman told Trudeau, who claims he is broke and has for five years failed to pay a cent of a $38 million fine Gettleman previously imposed on him.
“It really saddens me, Mr. Trudeau,” the judge said as Trudeau flushed blood red. “You’re a smart guy — maybe too smart. Perhaps you’ve outsmarted yourself.”
Gettleman said emails Trudeau sent show he connived for years to hide his wealth overseas so that he wouldn’t have to pay the fine, which the judge imposed after Trudeau flouted a court order banning him from making false claims in his diet book infomercials.
Even as he claimed to be in poverty, Trudeau drove a Bentley, employed two chefs and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, complete with $180 Vidal Sassoon haircuts and high end food, booze and cigars, the feds say.
But the last straw was a string of recently discovered assets Trudeau denied knowledge or ownership of, including $100,000 in gold bars, a home in the Ukraine, an overseas bookie’s account and a $12,000 pair of white gold and diamond cuff links.
The Federal Trade Commission and a receiver appointed by the court to get to the bottom of Trudeau’s complicated web of international accounts and businesses both said the TV pitchman’s refusal to come clean about what his attorney Kimball Anderson called “relatively trivial matters” show he can’t be trusted and should be locked up.
Gettleman rejected Trudeau’s claims that he’s being unfairly targeted by the FTC and that being locked up would make it harder to defend himself in a separate criminal trial next month.
He said he didn’t know how much money Trudeau was hiding but “I do know that I haven’t had the truth from him,” gesturing to Trudeau.
Noting that he typically comes to regret cutting Trudeau any slack, the judge nonetheless allowed Trudeau to remain free until Tuesday so that he can attend his legal defense fund-raiser on Monday.
A court order prevents Trudeau from using any other source of income for his lawyers. If he ever pays the fine, it will be shared among consumers who bought his diet book, “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”