Kevin Trudeau and justice: muddy waters
|Kevin tells the same old sob story... or is that S.O.B. story?|
Well, Dear Ones, there have been a few developments in the continuing saga of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau since I blogged last week about his latest dance with the mainstream media. F'rinstance...
The Stuporhero strikes again
On Thursday, June 6, Kevin posted another dramatic video about his legal problems. I can't embed it but here is the link. I'll give you my standard warning about stupid videos: this one is 52-plus minutes you'll never get back. But maybe you can do something constructive while you're listening to Kevin emote, such as cleaning your cat's litter box, or scrubbing the gunk from under the lip in your toilet, or simultaneously playing one of Loony Lenny Coldwell's patriotic video rants while drinking a beer. See which video -- Loony's or Kevin's -- makes you squirt beer out of your nose first. That should be a lot of fun. It is something to do with your Friday night, anyway. (Or your Saturday morning or afternoon, depending upon where in the world you are.)
Actually I have to say that Kevin's June 6 video, in which his co-star is an extraordinarily loud shirt that almost steals the show, is a marvelous performance overall. (The shirt doesn't have any lines but really does not need any.) And if one didn't know the entire context of the story, one would be tempted to believe that Kevin is indeed the hero he makes himself out to be, though he doesn't call himself a hero in so many words; in fact he comes out towards the end of the vid and says, "I'm no hero" -- the one thing with which many of us will fully agree. Kevin does such a masterful job of passionately stating his case that by the end of the video, I found myself saluting (well, actually it was a middle-finger salute), and I could almost hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" playing in my head (though in a clearly discordant key, with a cartoonish wah-wah flourish at the end).
As good a performance as it is, the video is filled with Kevin's usual lies and half-truths, diffusions and distractions, cherry-picked details and straw-man arguments. He employs his favorite strategy of exploiting the growing public distrust of the US government, jumping right in at the beginning with a list of some of the real atrocities and violations, past and present, that have been going on with the government and ordinary citizens -- and then, as usual, conflating all of it with his own ongoing civil and criminal cases.
The prevailing theme is his usual one, which basically is this: Despite being hounded half to death, the brave Mr. Trudeau is continuing to fight the good fight, and for him it's not about the money at all, but about protection of all of our civil rights, most notably our rights to free expression and our rights to be protected from unwarranted search and seizure. He employs that characteristic True-dough "truthiness" (which I wrote about nearly two years ago) to get the masses fired up and inspire them to send more money to help him with his legal fight.
Kevin repeats several things that are outright lies, such as bragging about his high customer satisfaction rate and lack of customer complaints and refund requests. (He told the same fib to the ABC reporters.) Now, strictly speaking in the context of the FTC cases, it may be true that the $37.6 million dollar fine does not accurately reflect the number of customers who were dissatisfied with and/or asked for refunds specifically for his Weight Loss Cure book. It may even be true that the FTC fine is arbitrary and inflated. But there are plenty of complaints about Trudeau. Hundreds of them. I've linked to this several times over the years, but here are a few hundred to get you started.
Trudeau also tells his usual less-than-half truths about what the FTC case is about, saying it is basically about the government's objections to his declaration that he found the hCG diet he promotes in his Weight Loss Cure book "easy." In truth it is about so much more than that, but I think Trudeau has only himself (and his lawyers) to blame for the whole thing getting so out of control.
And, far from backing away from the marketing tall tale for which so many have ridiculed him (I was one of the first), he uses his latest video to once again tell the story of having been in a seekrit society called The Brotherhood. He reveals that he left the org because the Brotherhood was too elitist; according to him, they believed that certain people -- that would be the elites of the world -- are genetically superior and should keep their knowledge (and of course their riches) to themselves and shouldn't spread any of it to the inferior masses. Kevin, great egalitarian that he is (not), says in the video that he believes anyone can change by learning these great secrets. Kevin himself, however, has not only used elitism on many occasions to promote GIN, but he has reportedly slammed his own adoptive family, saying he belonged in a more genetically superior one.
Another silly Kevin-ism: He asks, rhetorically, who else has been fighting the good fight for the past ten years. Who else has our backs? Who else, he asks, is fighting Goliath on our behalf? Hmmm... well, now, how about the ACLU? How about intrepid jornalistic media such as Mother Jones? How about dozens of commercial-free, non-government consumer and activist organizations? How about all of those entities, Kevin? And they don't have their slimy hands in our pockets like you do.
Seriously, someone needs to run this vid through a FactCheck.org-type analysis. As I said, even though this video, like pretty much all of Kevin's videos, is mostly lies, there is a smidgen of truth. There are real government atrocities going on, all the time, against genuinely good citizens. Things are arguably getting worse, not better. And as for Kevin...okay, I'll concede that this whole FTC case may end up being totally the wrong way to stop a serial scammer.
You're not going to find a genuinely objective and comprehensive analysis in this post, and certainly not on the forums of the angry ex-GIN and KT fans such as Loony Coldwell. But it goes without saying that you will not find much of anything resembling the true story in any of Kevin Trudeau's content.
The Dow deposition
Gosh, that kind of sounds like the name of a Robert Ludlum novel, doesn't it? But it's not. On May 30, 2013, a document was filed, and made available via PACER.gov, regarding certain depositions relevant to Kevin Trudeau's ongoing civil case. One of those depos, a portion of which was made available, was from Michael Dow, the former director of finance and accounting for one of Trudeau's many companies, Natural Cures, which later became Website Solutions USA. According to Dow's testimony on the depo, he was hired by Suneil Sant, aka Neil, then the president of Natural Cures. (Neil's deposition was taken the day after Dow's, but so far does not seem to be available.)
No doubt Loony Lenny grabbed the Dow doc the moment it was available, and fed it to Abe Husein, who posted a couple of screen shots from the depo on his Facebook page, and then made another over-wrought "this is the end!" video.
A couple of days later, Lenny published the depo excerpt -- which had clearly been marked CONFIDENTIAL -- on his blog. He published it as a text document, which totally fudged up the formatting, making it almost impossible to read, but you can still see the words "Dow-Confidential" at every page-break designation. The doc is currently listed as "NEW Public Court Papers #60" on this page on Loony's blog. You can get to the document if you follow that link. (This is the same page that is still proudly headlined by Loony's prediction that KT will be in jail on October 30, 2012.)
Given the timing of the depo -- May 8 -- and the fact that it is marked as being related to the civil case, I tend to think that all or most of the salient matters from the deposition were already discussed at the May 21 evidentiary hearing. That's the hearing where Kevin famously invoked his Fifth Amendment rights nearly 400 times. So despite Abe's over-the-top excited update video about this depo, and Lenny's ongoing "I know something you don't know" act, this is not really new news and, I suspect, was brought out in court already. However, I wasn't at the May 21 hearing and have only seen capsule summaries of it, so I really do not know. Anyone who has additional information or informed opinions about the significance of the Dow depo, please feel free to share them.
Even so, this doesn't mean that the depo contains no material of interest. It has some pretty eyebrow-raising stuff. And I almost felt sorry for Dow as I was reading his sometimes stuttering responses to the questions. (He even got "caught" fluffing up his resume, which must have been a tad embarrassing for him.* ) I was amazed, however, at how much he claimed not to know, such as the true ownership of the many Trudeau companies whose finances he dealt with on a daily basis. Was it willful blindness, or was he really being kept in the dark and just so desperate for a job that he was not inclined to ask too many questions?
At any rate, the more I study this and related court docs, the more I think that despite his apparent lack of anything resembling a moral compass, Kevin Trudeau has most of his legal ducks in a row... and he may very well walk, perhaps after settling with the FTC for pennies on the dollar.
(There is still the matter of the criminal contempt case, which may possibly result in Kevin's incarceration, though that seems increasingly unlikely. Presumably we'll know more after June 26, which, besides being Kevin and Nataliya Babenko's fifth wedding anniversary, is the day Kevin is due back in Judge Gettleman's court for attorney Marc Lane's hearing. But this is in relation to the civil case.)
As indicated above, the file that was made available on PACER is not Michael Dow's complete deposition. Rather, it is an attachment to a document filed by Trudeau's lawyers, titled, "DEFENDANT KEVIN TRUDEAU'S DEPOSITION DESIGNATIONS AND OBJECTIONS TO THE FTC'S DEPOSITION DESIGNATIONS." The depo itself, listed as "Exhibit A," is 116 pages, and these are the pages that are missing:
- 37-40 (4 pages): following a mention of Website Solutions
- 65-80 (16 pages): following a mention of Synergy Worldwide
- 85-88 (4 pages): following another mention of Website Solutions and Kevin's drivers and other personal services
- 97-104 (8 pages): following mention of Dow's conversations with Peter Wink regarding declining GIN membership
- 109-112 (4 pages): following a request for
some "wrap-up questions"
Or it could be, as some have speculated (see my pal Tim's comments below), that the deleted pages had something to do with Peter Wink's role in the FTC investigation. Although in this doc, Peter's name was only mentioned immediately before the missing pp. 97-104, it is also true that Peter listed Website Solutions on his resume/Linkedin profile, a fact that had been noted in other court docs. http://www.linkedin.com/in/peterwink And several of the missing pages in the Dow depo seemed to follow a mention of Website Solutions. So perhaps there is a connection.
What does seem clear is that Lenny Coldwell just posts the links to the Trudeau court documents because he can, though despite his constant boasting, he almost certainly has an incomplete understanding of the content or real significance of most of the documents. Lenny is passionate about bringing Kevin to "justice," however, and has even said more than once that he has spoken to the "lead persecutor" (sic) in Switzerland, so Kevin will have nowhere to hide. And he continues to boast that he is the only one who really, really knows what is going on with the court cases.
Apparently Lenny is going to go into the movie-making business too, as this June 6 comment indicates:
[Update June 9: Maybe Lenny can have Abe write the screenplay. After all, Abe is apparently thinking of writing a book about how one young heroic guy (that would be Abe) almost single-handedly brought GIN to its knees. He talks about it towards the end of this video, which is a response to Kevin's June 6 vid. I see good times and giggles ahead for movie reviewers and literary critics alike. And possibly more money in the pockets of Kevin's lawyers. Meanwhile, I'm imagining a script for A Life of Slime: The Leonard Coldwell Story.]
Lenny's followers who are disgruntled ex-GIN do not seem to realize that Lenny, with his semi-literate Facebook boasts and phony email campaigns (see below), is probably doing more to hurt the cause of bringing Kevin to justice than help it. But Kevin's fans should be tickled pink -- as pink as one of Lenny's shirts.
Dispatch from Deutschland: the phony letter from the "GIN Council"
Speaking of possibly crapping on the cause of justice -- that is, if you define justice as stopping Kevin Trudeau -- an email went out this past Monday from a German -- ahem -- email address, gincouncil at ks-reifenservice.de
Being severely German-impaired, I can't quite figure out exactly what sort of site ks-reifenservice.de is -- "reifenservice" literally means "mature service" -- but I'm thinking that the email address is one of numerous proxies utilized by Loony Lenny Coldwell. The writing "style" of the email certainly has Loony and his sidekick Peter Wink written all over it. I'm sure Peter tried to make it literate, but then Loony popped his semi-literate, oddly capitalized and poorly punctuated prose into it before sending it.
Dear GIN Members & Affiliates,
You may be aware that some revealing news stories have been released revolving around KT and his ongoing legal issues.
Here are the most recent two for your knowledge...
On May 21st, 2013, our founder and leader KT, appeared in Federal Court in Chicago.
Here are a few of the highlights...
- KT pleaded the 5th almost 400 times.
- His former attorney Marc Lane is being ordered into federal court this month to explain his role in a possible scheme to hide monies from the FTC. (Substantiated by the FTC through numerous undeniable emails.)
- Millions of dollars, presumably from our GIN funds, were used to pay Marc Lane and various other attorneys.
- Kimball Anderson (KTs latest lawyer), attempted to stall proceedings by submitting hundreds of pages of new documents. It did not work and did more harm than good.
- FTC showed public documents proving all Trudeau-owned companies are bankrupt including GIN.
- The next phase is for Marc Lane and KT to appear in Federal Court in Chicago later this month for what is called an evidentiary hearing. It appears that the Judge (by his admission) feels that the two executed a scheme to hide funds from the FTC. Disturbingly, there are emails to back up this claim. This undoubtedly spells trouble for our organization. It is possible that this could have a major impact on our ultimate survival. To counter, you may have noticed we are moving our operations overseas --- as well as all monies.
On top of the FTC case, KT is also facing a Federal criminal contempt case this month in Chicago with Judge Guzman. This one is actually more serious than the FTC case. KT stated at his VIP dinner in Las Vegas that he will go to jail and that it is only a matter: If he goes for 2 years or for 5 years to jail.
The Director of Finance Michael Dow stated in his Deposition that GIN lost over 66% of its members within the last couple of month [sic] and told the FTC all the really bad things about KT and his [sic] that his Wife ( mail order bride ) is the sole owner of GIN Natalia [sic] Babenko, Basically he confirmed that Gin in [sic] Bankrupt.
It also came out that KT never was a member of any secret society and has no secret knowledge of anything.
His CD set Your Wish is Your Commend [sic] - was also not taped in the Swiss Alps It was taped in Chicago in a studio year [sic] before GIN for a different purpose.
While it is impossible to predict the outcome of either case, it goes without saying that this kind of publicity will have an impact on the future of Gin. The reality is that if we are not able to retain the services of our founder KT, our survival is more than in question. We are also in the unfortunate position of defending attacks from people that are very angry that KT claimed to be a multi-millionaire, and has now admitted he is broke, and officially filed bankruptcy. Because it has been revealed that we are bankrupt, we are looking into the legalities of being able to collect any more dues from members. There are laws prohibiting organizations from collecting monies from people, after the organization has revealed they are financially bankrupt. For now, we are going to keep collecting your dues and sending your money overseas. We fear that there will be no future payments to you since KT stated in court that Gin ( owned as the only owner by his wife Mail Order Bride, Natalia [sic] Babenko ) is broke and unable to pay it [sic] bills.
We don't want to leave you in the dark about the fact that now the FBI and the IRS are very interested too.
On behalf of Gin, we apologize for putting your monies at risk. We are afraid that some club members that still sold Memberships after it was out in the open that it was only based on Fraud, Deception and False Advertisement, will have to answer to the law too. Over 1 million dollars in charge backs have been also proof of the massive fraud. Over 5400 complaints to the FTC are speaking volumes.
We will keep you updated on future developments.
Cheers and pop the Champaign [sic]
But no matter what you may think about the GIN leadership, GIN, or Kevin Trudeau himself, that "GIN Council" email was pretty stupid and transparent. And don't think that the GIN leadership aren't fully aware of who is behind it. Nice try, Loony and Peter.
Tim weighs in
I'll wrap this up by sharing some thoughts from my friend Tim Donohoe, who has been so helpful in providing research tidbits for some of my blog posts. (He gave me permission to quote him.) On a Facebook forum earlier this week, Tim wrote:
I just had the chance to read [the Michael Dow deposition]. It seems that kt's defense(s) [when speaking to the ABC reporter], "So what if I did [spend GIN money on myself]" and "I was helping out friends and family" [Kevin's explanation for why so many businesses are in his wife's or other people's names] could prevail in this case. I can't imagine a GIN member accepting the fact that kt was using GIN funds to support his parents and several empty houses but I can see how kt can win this part of his case with this.
For instance, the entire argument that kt spent a huge sum per month on his rented house in Chicago and leased Bentleys was blown out of the water by the testimony of Michael Dow. Dow testified [in his deposition] that the current CEO of GIN is now living in that house, therefore it is GIN's property and not controlled by kt at all. Sucks that GIN spends this much on luxury for its CEO while not paying bonuses, but it certainly proves that GIN controls the money and not kt.
I can see why Abe and Lenny are keeping this one [mostly] under wraps right now; even Lenny understands that this testimony is exactly the opposite of what he wanted. Another funny thing about the [depo] is that the withheld pages are the pages following a mention of Peter Wink [see my comments about that, above. ~ CC]. I wonder if Wink realizes that he can void his immunity from prosecution if he lied... And it is very unlikely that an unsophisticated boob and pathological liar like Wink could tell lies that hold water during an investigation of any kind. He's no kt, after all.
In another communication, Tim had this to say about the contents of the Dow deposition:
Looks like a lot of plausible deniability for KT... That seems to be the tactic employed by Team Trudeau: let the FTC push and feel like it has a weapon to use, then pull a rabbit out of a hat to derail them and force them to prove something else before they can use their weapon.
The contempt trial was their big club; on June 3rd [Kevin was supposedly going] to jail for contempt [that was actually the day that the criminal contempt trial was originally scheduled to begin ~ CC].... but wait, Kevin filed bankruptcy [on 22 April, 2013] which makes the contempt impossible, but they have to prove kt is not bankrupt before they can prove he is in contempt. Thus wasting more time, requiring more lawyers and costing more money. Plus the bankruptcy hearings can be derailed at every turn and no Federal judge is going to risk denying kt a fair hearing by making a decision on his own.
He doesn't care if they prove he isn't bankrupt because Dow's testimony gave them 50 new pieces of evidence they can use to derail the proceedings. I assume they will use them one at a time, requiring weeks of work on behalf of the FTC for each and let the FTC prove what they can prove. At which time he will pull out inconsistency #2.
No matter what evidence they have from previous hearings, Kevin has 48 more stunts ready to go. He probably welcomed them to bring GIN into this since he set it up just for this purpose at a time when he knew they had this fine hanging over his head. The miscalculation he made was how much GIN would make. He planned to use GIN to hide his other assets and maintain his lifestyle safely out of reach of the FTC, but when GIN started raking in money above what kt could spend, he needed to scramble and spend or hide it.
Additionally it looks as if he is using Marc Lane, Michael Dow, and whoever else as roadblocks and nothing else. He set it all up in the beginning with nobody knowing all the moving parts and everyone knowing they were up to no good, so no matter how hard they try to shift the blame to Kevin, he still has plausible deniability and several layers of protective ignorance before they pin anything concrete on him.
This also explains why he hasn't said a negative word about Wink, Lenny and Abe so far [except when asked directly, and then Kevin has been very circumspect. ~ CC]. They are his parachute if things get desperate. Mistrials, influencing the court, local news stories trying him on TV without the facts. Plus if he gives them credit for the demise of GIN he can blame them for being bankrupt in the US. He can claim that they ruined GIN and GIN is now in the red so it COULDN'T be a source of income for him. He can claim all sorts of prejudice based on Lenny's own words. For instance, Lenny [has claimed that] kt owes him 20 million dollars, I am sure a good lawyer could translate that into reasonable doubt about Lenny's motives, especially when Lenny's lies are so easily documented. Get that Nazi twerp in front of a judge and ask him about his education, past career, life in Germany, Frontal21 [the German TV investigative show that exposed Coldwell as a phony back in 1999], police reports, etc., and THEN ask him what he thinks of Kevin's integrity. I rest my case already.
In summation, evidence is worthless when there are so many levels of deception, layers of protection, and stupidity from adversaries. Kevin is not trying to prove he is innocent in any way, so evidence is just more opportunity for his lawyers to delay and change the subject. What he is trying to do is befuddle and annoy them into submission so they will accept a miniscule settlement for his guilt. The FTC has already spent [millions of] dollars trying to collect 37, and kt is just getting started. If he can push that number past 50 the FTC could get the 37 million and still lose. KT's next book (published in Nevis) will be about how crazy the FTC is.
* * * * *
As one of Kevin's diehard fans has pointed out to me more than once, the publicly available court docs still do not tell the whole story. Of course they don't. That is something we all need to keep in mind. Nevertheless -- and here is where I agree with Abe Husein and countless other ex-GIN and ex-KT fans -- the docs we have seen do have some pretty damning information, and in my view they paint a more solid picture of Kevin as a clever, scheming liar who is indeed shuffling/hiding funds.
But Kevin may very well get away with little more than a slap on the wrist, and he may very well find a way to continue to run his scams and schemes, even if he has to live outside his beloved US for a few years. That is pretty much my mindset now. although I am watching and waiting and willing to adjust my views as more info comes to light. However, my basic opinion of KT and GIN has not changed in years -- and is not likely to do so, no matter how long this saga goes on... and on... and on... and on.
* Here are a couple of examples of what I meant when I wrote about Michael Dow being caught "fluffing up" his resume, and being forced to kind of admit as much during his deposition:
- Page 61, lines 23-25:
Q. On -- I believe you mentioned in your résumé,your LinkedIn résumé, that you're also involved in financial planning activities. Is that right?
A. It was -- it was my hope.
- Page 16, lines 11-16:
Q. You indicate here [on Dow's Linkedin page] that you do your accounting functions for an organization with 10 entities generating revenues of over 100 million.
A. The hundred million was my estimate of what -- where we were going to go. We never hit a hundred million while I was there.
More True-dough on this Whirled:
- May 2013: ABC has fun with Kevin Trudeau, and life goes on
- May 2013: ABC tackles Kevin Trudeau -- again!
- May 2013: Kevie goes a-courtin': pleading the Fifth
- 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