Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau to stay in jail
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter October 24, 2013 12:01PM
Kevin Trudeau leaves the Metropolitan Corrections Center after his release following a one-night stay in September. | Sun-Times Media file photo
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:26AM
Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau’s bid for freedom failed Thursday when a federal judge ordered him to remain locked up in a downtown jail until he comes clean about his hidden millions.
Trudeau — jailed Tuesday for civil contempt by Judge Robert Gettleman for hiding assets to avoid paying a $37 million fine for fraudulently advertising his diet book — again insisted he’s broke and has revealed everything about his complicated web of international businesses and assets.
But Gettleman told him, “the truth is that I just don’t believe that,” ordering Trudeau held until another hearing Monday afternoon.
Trudeau hasn’t paid a cent of the fine Gettleman imposed on him more than five years ago, and has infuriated the judge by living a lavish lifestyle, complete with personal chefs, a Bentley, expensive clothes and jewelry, even as he claims poverty.
Emails he sent after the fine was imposed showed him frantically trying to hide his loot overseas, beyond the judge’s authority, the judge previously ruled.
The hearing on Thursday followed the pattern of countless previous court appearances for Trudeau, with Trudeau and his lawyer Katherine Rohlf arguing he had “done everything he’s been asked to do,” and lawyers for the Federal Trade Commission and a receiver appointed by the court disputing that.
“How can I purge myself [of contempt] if I don’t know what I should do?” Trudeau pleaded as he stood before the judge in orange jail scrubs.
But Blair Zanzig, representing the receiver, said accountants still haven’t seen documentation that would prove Trudeau’s overseas businesses Global Information Network and Website Solutions Switzerland haven’t squirreled away cash for Trudeau.
“The proof is in the pudding, but we don’t have any pudding yet,” he said.
Trudeau was jailed last month for a single day by Gettleman, who said the coercive measure “seems to be working” because “when [he’s] pushed, assets come into the picture.”
The judge said Trudeau — a convicted credit card fraudster — would have to “stay in jail until he’s convinced me,” that he doesn’t have other hidden loot, though he hinted that might not take much longer.
“I want to bring this to a head,” he said, adding, “I’m not naive.”
If Trudeau 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.”
Even if he is ultimately freed by Gettleman, he faces a potential prison term if convicted of charges connected to his claims about the diet book at a criminal trial scheduled for next month.