Former Informercial Pitchman Jailed, Accused Of Hiding Assets From Court
CHICAGO (STMW) — Silver-tongued, former infomercial king Kevin Trudeau has been jailed by a federal judge for repeatedly violating court orders that required him to stop his lavish spending and turn over his assets to pay a $38 million fine, the Sun-Times is reporting.
Judge Robert Gettleman told Trudeau, 50, of Oak Brook, “This is not an infomercial — you can’t talk your way out of this” after the TV pitchman made an impassioned plea for his freedom.
Trudeau — a convicted credit card fraudster turned best-selling diet-book author — was ordered in July to stop spending and to help a court-appointed receiver get to the bottom of just how rich he is.
But the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday presented evidence that Trudeau continued to splash out on treats including nearly $900 in a single trip to a liquor store, $920 on cigars, more than $1,000 on high end meats bought online and — in what may have been the final straw — $359 on two haircuts at Vidal Sassoon.
They also alleged that Trudeau hid $20,000 in an Australian bank account, and continues to hide millions in secret offshore accounts from the court.
Trudeau’s attorney, Thomas Kirsch, attacked those claims, angrily accusing the FTC of trying to “mislead the court.”
Trudeau claims he is broke and has yet to pay a cent of a $38 million fine Gettleman ordered him to pay the Federal Trade Commission five years ago for flouting a court-ordered ban on making false claims in his infomercials.
But Gettleman finally ran out of patience Wednesday, telling Trudeau to “search his soul” while he is locked up and come clean about everything he owns.
He ordered Trudeau to meet with receivers and return to court Thursday to see if he can be more forthcoming.
Gettleman wrote earlier this summer that he has seen “evidence that Trudeau is living much more like a prince than the pauper he professes to be.” That includes Trudeau’s use of top-dollar attorneys and allegations that he drives a $340,000 Bentley and employs two personal chefs and a butler at his suburban Chicago home.
Gettleman froze the assets of multiple businesses and off-shore accounts that Trudeau allegedly controls and held Trudeau in contempt in July. He warned the tanned, sharp-suited Trudeau at the time that he faced a “much harsher result” if he and his lawyers continued to gripe.
Trudeau’s longstanding legal difficulties stem from his book, “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About,” which he falsely advertised as giving “easy” solutions to weight loss.
He previously drew Gettleman’s ire in 2010 when he urged his followers to email the judge en masse on his behalf.
If he ever pays the fine, the money will be shared among readers who bought the book.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)