Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau was released yesterday after spending one night behind bars in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correction Center.
As we reported previously, the well-known TV self-help pitchman was jailed for contempt of court after going on a spending spree in violation of a freeze on his assets. Despite the freeze, he allegedly transferred close to $20,000 from an Australian account and used a debit card linked to that account for several extravagant purchases.
Trudeau has previously been hit with a still-unpaid $37 million federal fine for allegedly misleading claims contained in a best-selling weight-loss book called The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. Trudeau maintains that he’s broke, however, despite an apparent lavish lifestyle.
When brought back before US District Judge Robert Gettleman yesterday, Trudeau claimed that “I’m penniless and homeless. You have it all. I surrender. I am at your mercy.” The judge sent him home at about 5 pm on Thursday.
According to the ABC News affiliate in Chicago, however, Trudeau “lives in a luxurious house in Oak Brook [Illinois]. And a court-appointed receiver gives him a $4,700 a month allowance.”
As a condition of his release, Trudeau must meet with the receiver and disclose all of his financial assets which may include accounts all over the world, otherwise he could wind up back in jail. Trudeau is due back in court on September 26.
The Federal Trade Commission apparently believes that Trudeau is concealing his assets to avoid paying the fine. ABC News noted that previously “The FTC presented evidence that alleged Trudeau, who moved to Switzerland last fall, had embarked on a sophisticated asset-protection scheme that revolved around the creation of several vaguely-connected companies, trusts, and overseas bank accounts nominally owned or directed by Trudeau’s young Ukrainian wife…”
The judge warned Trudeau in court that if he wasn’t sufficiently forthcoming with the receiver and the FTC about where he’s allegedly stashed his cash, he “might be wearing the same color you’re wearing right now,” a reference to the orange corrections jumpsuit that Trudeau was dressed in during his night in jail.