Kevin Trudeau jailed, then released, after spending $359 on two haircuts (+video)
Kevin Trudeau owes the FTC more than $37 million in fines, but he says he has no money. A judge ruled Wednesday that Kevin Trudeau has been spending lavishly, and order him to jail. On Thursday, he was released.
Chicago — UPDATED 4:30 p.m.
A federal judge in Chicago has released infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau from jail. Trudeau spent the night in jail after the judge ruled that he violated court orders to stop his over-the-top spending and pay a more than $37 million fine.
Trudeau has claimed he has no money to pay the fine, which stems from alleged false claims about his weight-loss book.
Lawyers for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) presented evidence Wednesday that Trudeau has spent $900 at a liquor store, $920 on cigars and $359 on two haircuts at Vidal Sasoon.
US District Judge Robert Gettleman told Trudeau to discuss his assets with a court-appointed receiver while in jail and return to court Thursday.
Gettleman told Trudeau: "This is not an infomercial. You can't talk your way out of this."
On Thursday, Gettleman said "I'm going to release you today," he told Trudeau, who was dressed in an orange jumpsuit after spending a night at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. "If I'm not satisfied that you've been forthright with them, you might be wearing the same color you're wearing right now," according to The Chicago Tribune.
The judge set another hearing for Sept. 26.
In July, Gettleman froze assets Trudeau allegedly controls and held him in contempt of court.
ABC News reports that the "The $37 million penalty at the root of this dispute was formally entered in 2010 when Judge Gettleman ruled Trudeau had made misleading claims in infomercials for his best-selling book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About."
The FTC's complaint in that case alleged Trudeau had bamboozled hundreds of thousands of consumers with claims that the diet - which calls for prolonged periods of extreme calorie restriction, off-label injections and high-colonic enemas - was "easy." The judge ordered Trudeau to compensate any consumer who bought the book after viewing one of the ads."
NBC News Channel 5 in Chicago reports that Trudeau withdrew $17,000 from a bank in Australia in July, according to an attorney who works with the receiver trying to recover the $37 million fine.
The attorney says: “I am being very straightforward and am not hiding anything,” Trudeau wrote in an email. He followed it up the next day with another note stating, “I have nothing to hide. There are no hidden assets anywhere in the world.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.