Kevin Trudeau: Government gets its wish, Katie sentenced to ten in the pen
Deets later, but for now, here's the Chicago NBC story:
Yep, despite his pleas for mercy and some last-minute histrionics, as noted on this Whirled the other day -- and despite his numerous Facebook postings about the miraculous changes he'd undergone since being caged (here's just one of many, many examples), on March 17, Kevin Trudeau was sentenced by Judge Ronald Guzman to ten years in Federal prison.
Good thing I am not a betting woman, because this sentence did take me a little bit by surprise. But not a whole lot by surprise, considering that the court has been granting the government pretty much everything they'd requested so far, and their latest request had been for a ten-year minimum sentence.
Also not surprising was that former GIN member Abe Husein, the self-proclaimed GIN destroyer, was all over this, as was his mentor (or Dementor) Loony Coldwell, with the rumor that the FBI is going to send other speakers to prison as well. If that is true, I have a great suggestion about where they could start. Just saying.
As for the scuttlebutt about grizzled old former Congressman Ed Foreman, a long time friend, supporter and enabler of Trudeau, early buzz was that he was forcibly restrained by Federal marshals and then escorted out of the courtroom because he lunged at the judge. He was reportedly arrested. But that's not even remotely the same as being sent to prison for being part of the fraud, as reported in the screen shot above.
This Chicago ABC story has a vid that mentions the disruption by Foreman and says he will probably be issued a citation and have to pay a $150 fine.
UPDATE later on: This Chicago Sun-Times piece notes that it was a $175 ticket.
The courtroom was packed with Trudeau’s supporters. During arguments, one of them, a former congressman from Texas, tried to address the judge. The judge told him to sit down, and he did, but later on he spoke out again and was carried out by federal marshals. Ed Foreman, 80, of Dallas, got a $175 ticket, according to Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.In a piece for the Chicago Tribune, reporter Jason Meisner, who has been providing excellent coverage of the courtroom proceedings, wrote:
... As Guzman was questioning one of Trudeau’s attorneys, an elderly supporter suddenly stood in the front row of the audience and bellowed, “Judge, I am a former U.S. congressman!” before being ordered to sit down.I'll let the mainstream journos fight it out over whether Ed is going to have to pay $150 or $175. But in any case, some of us have been snarking about ol' Ed for a while. It's good to see the journos catching up to the bloggers.
After another outburst a few minutes later, the man, later identified as Ed Foreman, 80, of Dallas, was ordered to leave the courtroom. He refused, and when security officers tried to stand Foreman up, he went limp and was eventually carried out as other spectators shouted in protest.
“You are not entitled to disrupt the proceedings,” Guzman told the remaining audience members, some of whom sobbed loudly. “I urge you to simply keep quiet and listen.”
Foreman, a former Congressman who represented districts in Texas and New Mexico four decades ago, was ticketed for creating a disturbance, a petty offense payable by a $150 fine and court fees, officials said. According to his website, he is a motivational speaker who has previously touted Trudeau’s Global Information Network, touted as an international club that charges membership fees in exchange for success “secrets.”
Again, though, I can easily think of other GIN speakers and former speakers who are much more deserving of being thrown in jail -- or thrown out of the U.S. for good.
Just saying. [Update added March 20: Here's Ed, saying he has no regrets.]
And now for old times sake, here's ol' Ed and Katie cutting a rug at the birthday party of Kevin's now estranged wife Natalie Babenko at a Global Information Network "Family Reunion" in the Bahamas a few years ago. Oh, those crazy young people. Here's the album from which the pics were taken.*
Meanwhile, in the civil case...
The next court hearing for Katie is in Judge Robert Gettleman's civil court on Wednesday, March 19. There the court-appointed receiver will present their latest bill, and the FTC will continue to argue that Katie is a liar who belongs in jail. (Here is a link to two documents filed on March 14: the receiver's summary of the expensive things they have been doing for the past couple of months; and the FTC's latest Kevin-is-a-liar summation.) I am not including all of the exhibits because they would make the file 28 MB.
At this point, of course, the FTC is preaching to the choir. It remains to be seen whether Judge Gettleman will end Katie's civil contempt jailhouse stay so he can start serving the criminal sentence. The fate of GIN may or may not be decided on that day too. This is from the Receiver's Third Report, filed today (March 17):
Operations of the Global Information Network (GIN)Here is a link to the Receiver's Third Report. Among other things you will learn that one of the Katie entities, Trustar Productions Inc., invested in a failed movie project called Hellbenders. As my friend Tim noted in a Facebook conversation, "even kt gets ripped off by kt ventures." Well, yeah. It just goes to show what an expert ripoff artist Katie is.
The Receiver, working with company management in Westmont, Ill, has continued to operate GIN profitably and lawfully.
On March 17, 2014 the Receiver will announce that it is now prepared to consider letters of intent from potential purchasers of GIN’s assets which include the membership list and any intellectual property that may exist. The Receiver’s announcement will state that any letters of intent must be submitted by March 28, 2014. Thereafter, the Receiver will negotiate a purchase agreement with the prospective buyer and will submit any such agreement to this Court for its consideration.
What I think about the ten-year sentence
If you've been following this blog for the past year or so you won't be surprised to know that I am ambivalent about the sentence. Trudeau is without question a serial scammer and has been scamming most of his life. And of course I have been writing about this for years. I understand the criminal and civil judges' reasoning, the prosecutors' reasoning, the FTC's reasoning. I've read most of the relevant court documents in both the civil and criminal cases. The FTC and the prosecutors laid out a strong case. And I'm sure their case will be made even clearer to those of us on the sidelines when the Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) reports are unsealed.
I also understand why those who have lost money, time, and energy to Trudeau's scams feel that this is a victory. I understand why most (though not all) of my fellow critical bloggers and supporters feel it's a victory too. Most of them think I'm pretty off-base for feeling that ten years in the clink, even for Katie, is excessive.
But I have always felt -- and have stated numerous times on this blog -- that putting a nonviolent scammer in a cage for years and years isn't right. I wish there were some way our justice system could legally, non-violently and effectively protect the public from Katie without caging him.
And when I think of how killers such as James Arthur Ray served less than two years for killing three people in his phony sweat lodge... well, something seems off kilter. Or when I consider some of the loathsome scammers and alleged predators whom Trudeau unleashed on the world, who have yet to even be charged of anything, say nothing of be tried, convicted, sentenced.... it makes me think our justice system is really broken.
I'm also uncomfortable about the fact that someone can be jailed indefinitely for contempt. That's a whole other issue and also points to problems in our justice system.
On the other hand, Trudeau is a serial scammer, deceptive to the core, as the judge put it. And as my guy Ron noted, "In my opinion, the only way to stop Trudeau from scamming was to put him in a cage to give the people he entrusted with hiding his money enough time to turn on him and leave him genuinely broke, as he left so many others. The criminal justice system is first and foremost there to protect society, and this is the only way to protect society from Trudeau."
So it may be a "victory," but it's one that leaves me wondering if justice is really being served. At the very least, Trudeau isn't the only one who should be donning an orange jumpsuit.
PS added 18 March ~ My pal Bernie at GINtruth weighs in on the sentence and other related matters.
Labels: Kevin Trudeau criminal sentence