Kevie goes a-courtin': pleading the Fifth
Contrary to my predictions -- and I'm not afraid to admit when I am wrong -- notorious serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, a long-time favorite of this blog and the head of the notorious Ponzi-like Global Information Network (GIN), did indeed fly in from Switzerland and is now in court before the Honorable Judge Gettleman. Also in court to gloat over the proceedings: Peter Wink, former b.f.f. of Kevin and ex-GIN marketing director (among other things); and Abe Husein, former GIN member and now protege and loyal fan of the notorious Mocktor Leonard Coldwell. Not there in person but in spirit is Mocktor Lenny, former b.f.f. of Trudeau and former highly-paid GIN speaker.
Peter has already given interviews with Chicago's NBC station; expect more interviews from Peter and Lenny and Abe, as well as semi-literate updates from Coldwell. Abe is apparently giving live updates from the hallway -- a fact that has been duly noted by the court -- and Lenny is repeating the news on his Facebook page. Here's a pic Peter shared yesterday:
Today's hearing may or may not be the climactic event following years of legal paper shuffling and endless continuances. Trudeau has alternately said he refuses to pay the $37.6 plus million FTC fine on principle, and that he lacks the money to pay the fine. For the past year or so he's mostly been using the latter excuse.
Emmy Award winning investigative reporter Ryan Kath of Kansas City, Missouri's KSHB-TV (NBC affiliate), who led an investigation into GIN and KT and has already aired a couple of stories, did a brief followup last night. Click on the pic above to get to the video. And here's the link on the KSHB-TV web site.
I have and will continue to give all due credit to Abe Husein for getting this story rolling in the first place by approaching Ryan late last summer. (Peter Wink indicated to me that it was his idea, though.) While Abe may not have been the most sympathetic "victim," and in the eyes of many became less sympathetic as the months went by, he was one of the loudest and most persistent. He has declared again and again that his only goal is to take GIN and Kevin Trudeau down. And he's willing to do anything to achieve this goal, including an unholy alliance with Coldwell and Wink.
At any rate, Ryan took the ball and ran with it, and he and his investigative team went "undercover" to a GIN event in Nashville in the fall of 2012. His first story aired in November 2012. Even Salty Droid, who is more cynical than the average bear about "local" news stories (and TV journalism in general) admitted it was pretty darn good.
Ryan has continued to follow the developments and did a followup story in March 2013. As the May 21 court date approached he pitched the story to the NBC affiliate in Chicago, WMAQ, and helped them find a local former GIN member. He also took the initiative to call Abe and arrange for a last-minute interview before Abe flew off to Chicago for his front-row seat to "Kevin's Doomsday." So, good job, Ryan.
Now the big question is: What will happen? Will Kevin Trudeau be sentenced to prison? Will he pay his fine after all? Will there be some settlement for a smaller amount? Will Abe get his chance to confront Kevin "man to man," as he vowed in yesterday's video? Will Coldwell and Peter bluster their way in front of the cameras and try to paint themselves as heroes? (If the latter happens, I see that backfiring in a HUGE way. Good reporters have good instincts. Just sayin'.)
According to eyewitness accounts, Kevin has repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights throughout this hearing. Ryan Kath's colleague in Chicago is keeping him updated.
And of course Abe and Lenny are doing their own updates. I cannot give a blow-by-blow update myself because (1) I am not in the courtroom; and (2) Ron and I got a flood of small writing projects in yesterday that need to be completed ASAP. I have to focus on the work that pays the bills, and this ain't it. But I'll be back to update this story as needed, and to provide links to new news stories, but I trust that Kevin Trudeau's fate is in the hands of the judicial system -- the very system that Loony Coldwell so loves to hate, unless it can be used to help him get revenge (even if vicariously) for being out-scammed by someone who is much smarter, much more successful, and much more charismatic than he.
No matter what happens, today's hearing will be on Kevin Trudeau's "permanent record," thus planting more huge red flags for any potential scam victims who care to do a little research. But it will also add to his martyr points, and there will be those who continue to love and defend him, against all reason. And if his lawyers play their cards right, they may still succeed in making Kevin look like the poor put-upon victim who has been bullied by the big bad government.
For now, Kevin apparently continues to plead the Fifth (or "pleat" the Fifth, as Little Loony Coldwell put it in a recent Facebook post), and I imagine that Loony is looking forward to guzzling a fifth of his favorite elixir in celebration of.... well, whatever... as soon as he can.
But I'm still thinking that this hearing is not going to end with Kevin being led away in handcuffs.
PS ~ The above-mentioned Chicago NBC station was going to run a story about Trudeau last night, but pulled the story due to a more pressing one: the horrific tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma. The Trudeau story is expected to run some time this week. Meanwhile, if you want to help the tornado victims -- many of whom have lost everything -- here is how.
Update: I know this will come as a huge shock -- HUGE! -- but Kevin Trudeau did not go to jail today. GIN did not end today. However, the FTC apparently laid their case out very well, and since they've had more than ten years to work on it I am not surprised. Trudeau apparently has to be back in court on May 30 for another hearing, and then the judge will probably make some sort of ruling in mid-June. This will probably affect the timing of the criminal contempt trial -- a real, honest to goodness jury trial, I believe -- which had been scheduled for June 3 (more info and speculation about that here, though of course some of that post is now outdated).
Pending an offering by a professional journalist or blogger, here's eyewitness Abe, who does manage to provide some information in between all of the self back-patting. Do take time to poke around the Interwebz for confirmation, though.
- May 2013: Kevin Trudeau: Justice...or just more paper shuffling?
- May 2013: Kevin Trudeau: Countdown to court date (or not)
- May 2013: Kevin Trudeau + Mark Hamilton = GIN with a twist of Neo-stink
- April 2013: Bankruptcy: GIN members await Level 7 while Kevin Trudeau files Chapter 7
- March 2013: Ryan Kath at KSHB-TV does Trudeau/GIN update, Coldwell & Wink continue to scam with cheap imitation of GIN
- February 2013: Kevin Trudeau's GIN: The sky is falling (again)...yawn
- February 2013: Loony Coldwell: Cheesy video and bad spelling
- February 2013: IBMS Master's Society Supreme Loony Coldwell strikes again
- February 2013: Faux heroes and hypocrisy in action
- February 2013: Meet the new scam, same as the old scam, Part 2
- January 2013: Vital signs: "Immortal" (former) breatharian Mony Vital dies on GIN cruise
- January 2013: Meet the new scam, same as the old scam, Part 1
- December 2012: 2012 ~ The Whirled goes on
- November 2012: Kevin Trudeau: justice delayed...again
- November 2012: Kevin Trudeau exposé on KSHB-TV: buzz, backlash, and big beginnings
- November 2012: Alien nation: just how crazy is Kevin Trudeau (not to mention his sheeple)?
- November 2012: Kevin Trudeau: KSHB-TV undercover investigation
- November 2012: Kevin Trudeau gets some more mainstream lovin'
- October 2012: Evil has not won
- October 2012: Kevin Trudeau: Rats in our heads, GIN down the toilet...and life goes on
- October 2012: Kevin Trudeau: The shape of things to come?
- September 2012: Leonard Coldwell and Fred Van Liew: Pot, meet kettle
- August 2012: Truth is better than GIN any day
- July 2012: Drunk on GIN, and you can too!
- July 2012: Kevin Trudeau's GIN: part of the big sick machine
- July 2012: Independence Daze
- May 2012 (updated September 2012): Paging Dr. C: Bernd bridges in Deutschland?
- May 2012: Can alien DNA save Kevin Trudeau's GIN?
- May 2012: Does a canary with a GIN hangover sing as sweetly?
- April 2012: Viva Lost Wages: Sin City Become GIN City for a weekend
- February 2012: A. Rose by any other name would shill as sweet
- December 2011: True-dough updates: Bad poetry for KT, hate mail for CC
- November 2011: A jumpsuit for Jimmy
- August 2011: First Amendment Stuporhero
- August 2011: Everything old is Nouveau again (or, Neo-scam by any other name) -- Part 2 of 2
- August 2011: Calling all lazy men: let's build a pyramid together!
- August 2011: Everything old is Nouveau again (or, Neo-scam by any other name), Part 1 of 2
- June 2011: Holy Guacamole! True-dough's racist rants
- June 2011: For he's a jolly good felon: True-dough speaks out for Death Ray
- December 2009 (amended several times in 2010): Illuminutty: the secret brotherhood of the chronically gullible
- November 2009: How to take over the world
- July 2009: Horse farts and related matters
- January 2009: Mr. Fire meets up with true dough