TV pitchman Trudeau to spend night in jail
September 18, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There's another twist in the ongoing legal battle facing television pitchman Kevin Trudeau.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Chicago ordered Trudeau to spend at least one night in jail. A judge has ordered Trudeau to stop spending lavishly and turn over his assets to pay a $37 million fine.
trudeau says he is broke and cannot afford to pay the fine... But the government says he's been hiding his assets.
Since a judge's ruling clipped Kevin Trudeau's wings, the author and motivational speaker has been holed up in the western suburbs. And that's where Trudeau's spending has caused the government to take notice.
From the clothes he wears to the places he stays - a chateau in Zurich and a palatial house in Oak Brook - it's evident Kevin Trudeau knows how to live the high life.
"Hi, I'm Kevin Trudeau, and I'm here to tell you the U.S. government is really scared. They're trying to put me in jail. They fined me $37 million," he said in an online video.
As the government tries to recoup that money - earned off the sales of a weight loss book - a federal court in Chicago has been closely monitoring Trudeau's assets. But purchases at a Westmont cigar shop, $900 spent at a nearby liquor store, plus a $200 haircut all charged to a debit card linked to an Australian bank account are leading the court to believe he has money hidden from the government.
Judge Robert Gettleman, barking from the bench, said, "This is not an infomercial Mr. Trudeau, you can't talk your way out of this one." Trudeau talked to ABC's Bill Weir in April.
Trudeau: "Bill, I don't have $37 million hidden some place." Weir: "Because you're spending it all." Trudeau: "Yeah, I'm spending it all. And guess what? Even if I was, there's nothing wrong with that either."
On Wednesday, it was a more reserved Trudeau who told the judge, "I want to help, please give me the opportunity." Trudeau will have that chance, but not at this house in Oak Brook. Not Wednesday night anyway. He'll spend the night locked up in federal jail downtown after the judge found him to be in contempt of court. Trudeau's attorneys argued - as he did in April - there's no hidden money.
"If they can find $37 million, pop the champagne. Good luck," Trudeau said in April.
Before U.S. Marshals escorted Trudeau from the courtroom, he removed his cuff links, shoe laces and handed over his cell phone. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday, when we'll see if the judge feels Trudeau is being more truthful about his finances.
chicago news, ben bradley
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