U.S. judge orders TV pitchman Trudeau released from jail

Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:38pm EDT
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By David Bailey

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday ordered infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau released from a downtown Chicago jail where he had been held six days for failing to pay a nearly $38 million judgment over false promises he made in a weight-loss book.

Trudeau, 50, was ordered jailed by Judge Robert Gettleman last week for failing to make full disclosure of assets owned or controlled by him that could be used to pay the judgment from a civil case brought by the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC and a court-appointed receiver opposed his release, arguing that Trudeau had not met the court's conditions, FTC attorney David O'Toole said Monday in an email.

Trudeau, whose marketing business is based in Chicago, has repeatedly insisted he is broke and cannot pay the judgment.

It was the second time in a month that Gettleman had ordered him jailed for contempt. Trudeau spent one night in September at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

Well known to U.S. television viewers for his ubiquitous infomercials, Trudeau has battled federal regulators for years over his marketing of products to combat AIDS, hair loss, memory loss and obesity.

Gettleman had found on October 16 that "despite explicit warnings" Trudeau had attempted to conceal foreign bank accounts and assets he controls or can control and had failed to account for millions of dollars in commissions he received.

Trudeau's lawyers have said he was committed to complying but needed more time due to his complex finances and because third parties had much of his financial information.   Continued...