Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tune up your violins: Kevin Trudeau's lawyers lament that he is unemployable and the FTC is picking on him

As reported here on September 3, 2013, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been trying to back serial scammer Kevin Trudeau into an even tighter corner than they (and the courts) already have him. You may recall that on August 30, 2013, the FTC filed a motion for a modification in the August 7 receivership order, asking that Kevin's already modest -- for him, anyway -- living allowance of less than $5,000 a month be withdrawn unless he gets a real job. Truly, Katie's lavish lifestyle appeared to be in grave danger for the first time.

Well, yesterday (September 12), the Trudeau lawyers filed a six-page response to the FTC's motion (Document 748). The deadline for reply is Monday, September 16. I shared this document on a couple of Facebook forums yesterday evening but wanted to share it with a wider audience.

Reading over this new document, as well as the latest versions of both the civil and the criminal dockets, I noticed one thing: First, as of September 12, Kevin still has the same attorneys, which as you may know is contrary to what the Schadenfreude twins, Loony Coldwell and his "little brother" Abe Husein, have been saying for a couple of months now. There has been some concern that Katie's lawyers would quit because he may no longer be able to pay them. But so far, it looks as if they have not quit yet.

This new civil case document is basically about Katie's attorneys' claim that he really, really is a poor boy now and deserves the modest allowance previously approved by the court for his basic and necessary living expenses.

The lawyers argue, among other things, that it is unrealistic to expect him to get a real job, as he is a convicted felon with another criminal trial coming up, and employers tend to frown on that sort of thing. Now, those of us who live in the real world know that this is not necessarily true. What about all of those public school districts and churches and day care centers and nursing homes and hospitals that are always making the evening news because it has been discovered that a drunken bus driver or naughty teacher or predatory preacher or evil caretaker or killer nurse has a rap sheet a mile long, and was hired with no background check? In light of this, you'd think that a simple scammer should be able to get a decent job somewhere.

My friend Paul on Facebook wrote, "I think the FTC should hire KT as the building janitor and groundskeeper there and pay him $50K a year. He would have to work 8 hours a day Monday through Friday and 6 hours every other Saturday. This would eliminate the argument from KT's lawyers about him not realistically being able to get a job because he is a convicted felon."

That doesn't sound like a bad idea at all to me. But as several people have pointed out, Trudeau teaches that you can start a business even if you're flat broke, and he has boasted that he could go anywhere in the US and find a job within 24 hours. So, felon or not, he should have no problem finding gainful employment.

The lawyers also complain that Kevin can't make a living in the way he is accustomed because he has been forbidden from doing so. And that is just so cruel. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, scammers gotta scam.

The lawyers lament that he can't even get government benefits, such as unemployment benefits, because he is not entitled to them, since most of his income was earned overseas (more on that in a little while).

In short, they say the FTC is just picking on poor Katie and punishing him unnecessarily.

The violins are playing, but I am still not weeping for him.

The lawyers actually do make some logical (legal) arguments to back up their claims. But still I find that no tears come when I think of Katie having to get a job. An ex-GIN pal of mine writes, "I don't see KT as a victim here personally. Remember in Your Wish Is Your Command teachings, everything that happens in your life, you create. You get an accident, you created it; you get fired from your job, you created it -- which personally think is hogwash --[but] Kt created this mess. It's time he starts walking the walk instead of acting the victim. Goes to show Kt does not practice what he preaches."

And isn't that so often the story with the scammers of Scamworld?

* * * * *

As usual when a new Katie court document emerges, we're hearing distortions and exaggerations from the Loony C and Little Buddy camp. Earlier this morning Abe had this to say on Facebook:

LMFAO!!!!! GIN UPDATE!! KY is now asking the court for government benefits such as welfare! He is beyond desperate at this point. The new video that he made (illegally) a few days ago was talking about how he is holding a fundraiser in Washington. He is offering level 7 "training" for only $1,000. But that money wouldn't go to GIN, it would go directly to him, which is of course is against the court order. Who in their right mind would still follow such a low life loser like KY?? Only truly brain dead zombies who want to go to the poor house with them. I can see it now, the next GIN seminar, "How to obtain government benefits". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Loony Coldwell responded with a comment that if the D.C. GIN Family Reunion happens, "we will sue the receiver and the FTC." Loony is on a roll now with his lawsuits; he claims that he is initiating a class action lawsuit against GIN/KT, and that so far he has over 200 people wanting to join it. He says the law firm of Merritt Webb will probably be handling it. Knowing Loony's history of lawsuit claims, including the class action lawsuit he was supposedly going to file against GIN/KT back in May of 2012, I'll believe that when I see it.
I'll grant that it would be more than a little humorous if Katie had been trying to get welfare benefits. After all, he has been known to gripe about "entitlement" programs and people who are on the dole. I remember one notoriously racist example from June 2011 -- an example that made it to this Whirled.

But to tell the truth, I have not seen any indication so far that Katie has been asking the courts for welfare. The monthly allowance that the court has already approved (and that the FTC doesn't want to let stand) is not welfare. You may agree with the FTC that he doesn't deserve that money unless he gets a job, but technically it's not welfare. In fact, the only reference I have seen to government benefits in conjunction with Katie was a passing mention on the latest court document, on page 3. It was lumped in with the lamentation about Katie's unemployability and the infeasibility of third-party assistance. Here's that paragraph, in its entirety (bolding mine):
The FTC claims that Trudeau must either obtain other employment or rely on the generosity of friends and family members to provide for his living expenses. This is disingenuous. Because Trudeau is a convicted felon, with a criminal trial pending, it would be nearly impossible for him to find employment elsewhere. Moreover, Trudeau cannot simply rely on the generosity of others to pay for his personal living expenses, because any monies given to him by third parties must be turned over to the Receiver. See (D.E. 742 at 8-9.) Nor can Trudeau rely on government benefits to pay for his basic living expenses because his income has been earned overseas. For example, Trudeau would not qualify for unemployment benefits in Illinois. See 820 ILCS 405 et seq. The FTC is aware of these stark realities, but seeks to deny Trudeau the payment of ordinary and necessary living expenses purely out of its unrelenting desire to punish Trudeau.
Now, if more documents emerge that indicate Trudeau really has been trying in earnest to get "government benefits," then I will grab the docs if I can, and I will amend this post. But for now, it appears that the welfare claims are just more irritating background noise from Loony and his little bro. (In fact, Abe was obviously spoon-fed his "information" from Loony, who wrote this on Abe's wall very late Thursday evening September 12, several hours after I had shared the document on a publicly viewable forum on Facebook:)

Loony just pulled that "food stamps" speculation out of his behind, which is where much of his information originates.

What about some of the other issues? A pro-GIN Facebook pal of mine noted that the footnote on page 1 of the latest doc was "just stellar":

1 In light of the Receiver’s first report (D.E. 747) it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow for the FTC – there simply are no significant assets controlled by Trudeau that can be used to pay down the $37 million judgment against him.

One point to remember is that, as noted above, this latest court document was produced by Kevin's lawyers in response to the FTC's motion for a modification in the receivership order. As such, the lawyers are certainly going to do their best to present the FTC as bullies and their client as a poor guy who is just struggling to do the right thing. Some may argue that the facts laid out in the document speak for themselves, but let's face it: the lawyers are putting a bit of a dramatic spin on it, IMO, as lawyers often do (including, for their part, the FTC lawyers).

I think that the Trudeau attorneys' slightly snarky "no pot of gold" remark was a little misleading, especially since they cited
the receiver's initial report to back their claim, and the receiver has really only just begun digging. I realize that according to the report, no significant assets have been found so far, but presumably the forensic investigators are just warming up.

That ex-GIN friend of mine I quoted above shared an oft-expressed sentiment when he wrote, "Trust me, Kt has income coming in, cash hidden away, and he could cash in some gold jewelry, etc. Plus I have a feeling diehard GIN members are handing him cash." (Which is presumably contrary to the receivership order, and thus illegal, but you never know.)

My friend added, "If [Neo-Tech head]
Mark Scamilton made 10 million-plus in GIN commissions alone between 2009 and 2013, Kt made at least twice that last four years -- so where is it? Not to mention he sold how many Natural Cures books?"

Well, that's what the receiver is trying to find out now. It's possible that a lot of that filthy lucre has already been squandered on Katie's notorious Bentleys-and-pricey-cigars lifestyle, not to mention the fancy digs in Zurich, and Katie's wife's lingerie fund. If the receiver ultimately fails to find significant assets to pay the FTC fine, this will either indicate that Trudeau and his co-conspirator Marc Lane were too clever even for the Feds, and Kevin has assets that are safely out of the government's reach (a prospect that will have his fans cheering)... or it will indicate that Kevin is not, after all, the billionaire he has led his fans to believe he is. It may emerge that while he seems to be great at making money and spending money and getting others to spend money on his schemes, he is not so great at keeping it.

So, despite what many of his fans seem to think, Katie does not appear to be the best role model for success, at least if one's definition of success includes financial responsibility. Granted, not all of these points are directly relevant to the court cases, but they are still important for the fans and followers and potential customers of Kevin Trudeau to consider.

As I noted above, for better or for worse, the FTC, the receiver, and the judge who appointed the receiver and approved that receivership order have Kevin backed into a pretty tight corner now -- and it is abundantly clear that the FTC wants to make it even tighter. We all may have differing opinions as to whether this is justice (in either the legal or poetic sense), or a travesty of justice, but the fact of the receivership seems clear enough, and there's a lot of talk about whether or not the Global Information Network (GIN) leadership is being completely honest with the membership about what is happening.

* * * * *

Regarding the government's and the courts' treatment of Trudeau, I don't think it's all that black-and-white, as you probably know by now. But I do think that Kevin's nearly lifelong history as a hustler and scammer has influenced the FTC's actions and the court's decisions thus far; how could it not? And I definitely think that consumers need to be aware of Trudeau's history, because he has not reformed; he has continued to scam, and apparently his scams have hurt many people.

You should know, however, that in the criminal contempt case, which is set to go to trial November 4, Trudeau's lawyers filed a pre-trial motion to keep all of that "history" and several other issues from being argued or presented before the jury. Given the possiblity of a life prison sentence, that seems fair enough. But on the other side of that are the numerous motions filed by the government to keep all of Kevin's own standard defenses and arguments from being presented before the jury. Moreover, the government does not want the jury to be told of the potential penalty that the judge -- not the jury -- will impose if the jury finds him guilty of criminal contempt. (Don't hate me for possibly misplaced compassion, but that actually bothers me a little.)

At any rate, we also have to keep in mind that these controversial court cases are not about GIN, although GIN and its remaining members are affected by the restrictions currently placed on KT in the civil case. Some say the court and receiver are hurting all of the GIN members as well as Kevin Trudeau, and to counter this, they are coordinating ill-advised campaigns to let the receiver know exactly how they feel. I think these GIN defenders' energies would be better put towards asking themselves this: Have they been hurt more by the court's recent actions, or by their fearless leader's schemes and manipulations and his constant attempts to clean out their wallets?

That is really the core issue that they -- and not the courts -- must decide, no matter how the court cases are resolved.

I won't deny that there are several grounds on which to criticize the FTC -- not just for the Trudeau cases but also for the way they have handled (or failed to handle) other cases. But this does not change my personal opinion that Kevin Trudeau is a serial scammer, and GIN is a scam.

And let's not even get into the B-list scammers whose careers Kevin has nurtured and enabled through GIN. We'll leave some of those -- such as Peter Ragnar, aka Peter Lundell (I know, I've been promising that for well over a year), and the notorious Eli Rook, aka Dylan Benjamin -- for future posts.

P.S. The only new item on the criminal docket is an entry made September 9, saying that the responses to the aforementioned pre-trial motions (filed on September 6) are due September 23, and replies are due September 30.

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