(CBS) – Television pitchman Kevin Trudeau was freed Monday from a federal lockup, where he spent nearly a week for allegedly sitting on millions he won’t surrender to the government.
Trudeau had been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, under orders from U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman. Gettleman reversed that decision Monday, after Trudeau testified under oath.
Trudeau had been ordered to pay a $37 million civil judgment five years ago in connection with a weight-loss book federal officials said was fraudulent. He says any assets he hasn’t turned over are under the control of his wife and others.
The pitchman testified under oath Monday that he did not funnel assets overseas. If evidence one day shows otherwise, Trudeau could be prosecuted for perjury.
The Federal Trade Commission has said Trudeau is hiding assets in shell companies to avoid paying the fine.
Trudeau also was jailed for one day last month, after the FTC found he’d hidden $20,000 in an Australian bank account; and spent thousands more to buy liquor, cigars, high-end meat, and expensive haircuts – in defiance of a court order to halt his lavish spending.