Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau tossed back in jail over hidden money
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter October 22, 2013 10:59AM
Kevin Trudeau | Sun-Times files
Updated: November 24, 2013 6:23AM
Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau was taken back into federal custody Tuesday morning after a judge said he still thinks the silver-tongued convicted fraudster is hiding his loot from the court.
“I just don’t believe that Mr. Trudeau doesn’t know where these assets are,” U.S. Judge Robert Gettleman said as he ordered Trudeau held for at least two nights in the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center.
The judge’s order came at the end of a fractious hearing at which Trudeau gave a lengthy speech in which he again insisted he is broke and can’t pay the $38 million fine Gettleman imposed on him more than five years ago for flouting a ban on making false claims in his diet book infomercials.
“If I’m incarcerated tonight my question is what specifically can I do to prove that . . . there are no assets,” an indignant Trudeau said, repeating his offer to write to “every bank in the world” to confirm he doesn’t have secret accounts overseas before he was led away by court security officers.
Trudeau has long angered the judge by continuing to live a life of luxury — complete with casino outings, $180 hair cuts, personal chefs and a Bentley — even as he claims poverty.
But his attorney, Kimball Anderson, on Tuesday accused the judge of “screwing up” when he previously found Trudeau in civil contempt for directing his employees to hide assets in his complicated international web of businesses and failing to come clean about his wealth.
The Federal Trade Commission and a receiver appointed by the court to get to the bottom of Trudeau’s complex finances both disagreed, however, They argued that only by locking up Trudeau could the judge expect honest answers.
The FTC has battled for years to get Trudeau to pay the fine, which would be shared among consumers who bought his fraudulently advertised book, “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”
Mocking Trudeau’s claims that he can’t remember where all of his millions went at Tuesday’s hearing, Gettleman noted, “It’s kind of interesting that Mr. Trudeau wrote a book about memory,” suggesting Trudeau read his own book.
He ordered Trudeau to return to court on Thursday, when he’ll hear if any progress has been made.
It’s the second time in little over a month that Gettleman has ordered the 50-year-old Oak Brook man locked up for trying to hide his assets from the court.
“I don’t really have any alternative,” an exasperated Gettleman told Trudeau last week, when he postponed an earlier order to jail Trudeau so that Trudeau could attend a fundraiser for his own legal defense.
Trudeau still faces a criminal trial connected to the claims he made on TV about his diet book.