Shady T.V. pitchman Kevin Trudeau is reportedly in custody at a jail in Chicago in federal custody, according to ABC, for failing to pay a $37.6 million dollar sanction against him for deceptive marketing, which is not that big of a surprise. However, in August, a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission in granting a court-appointed receiver broad authority to marshal assets and take over Trudeau's businesses that the judge determined were controlled by the infomercial king.
The contempt finding was the fourth for Trudeau during his career, which is also overshadowed by $2.5 million in prior settlements with the FTC for allegedly misleading claims for a host of products he pitched in infomercials. Trudeau's record also includes two felony fraud convictions from the early 1990s, for which he spent nearly two years in federal prison.
In his appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman today, Trudeau was found in contempt for violation of the asset freeze and receivership by transferring close to $20,000 from an Australian account and also for using a debit card tied to that account to buy things beyond what is ordinary and necessary living expenses.
Trudeau claimed that he spent the money because he had no cash or credit cards and hadn't yet received his monthly allowance from the receiver. "I thought I was following the order," he said today in court. "I would ask the court to let me work with the receiver. I can be helpful."
The money Trudeau allegedly spent after the asset freeze, included $894 at a liquor store, $359 for two haircuts at Vidal Sassoon, $1,057 for meats ordered online and $920 on cigars. There was also an $18,642 transfer from the Australian account that was paid to a lawyer who worked on Trudeau's taxes, which was paid without the judge's approval. Poor guy...
Trudeau's lawyer Thomas Kirsch maintained that there "isn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" and that the receiver will not find hidden assets anywhere in the world, which has been the position of Trudeau's law team all along.
But Gettleman rejected the pleas, saying "This isn't an infomercial, Mr. Trudeau. You can't talk your way out of this one."
After the ruling, the infomercial king was turned over to two U.S. Marshals, who waited impatiently while the Trudeau removed his belt, cuff links and shoelaces. He was then led out a side door of the courtroom and taken to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he will spend the night. The receiver will meet with him later to determine his level of cooperation.
The government, however, remains skeptical of Trudeau's promises. After all, for the better part of the past 14 months, Trudeau has been locked in an acrimonious dispute with the FTC over the agency's allegations that he was concealing assets that should have been used to pay the sanction.
Trudeau's next court appearance will be Thursday morning at 11 a.m. He can have the contempt charge overturned and get out of jail if he satisfies the judge that he's being forthcoming and honest. Good luck with that!
Image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau">wikipedia