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.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kevin Trudeau: Government gets its wish, Katie sentenced to ten in the pen


Deets later, but for now, here's the Chicago NBC story:
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/tv-pitchman-kevin-trudeau-sentencing-250594051.html

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.
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.”
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.

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)
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.
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.

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:

17 Comments:

Anonymous Doc Bunkum said...

Wonder if Kev has a "natural cure" for swollen hemorrhoids?

Monday, March 17, 2014 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger CZBZ said...

Hi Connie,

I never post but your blog has been one of my favorites for years. After reading your update on Trudeau's sentencing, I wanted to thank you for your hard work and of course, your fantastic images. ha! How easy it has been for me to keep up with this guy's story. Thank you.

I saw him on television a couple of years ago when he was marketing his "secret" crap. It infuriated me that he could get away with such blatant manipulation. My first reaction was to check Cosmic Connie to see if you'd written about him and yes indeed, you had. Which was a relief because many people don't understand why scammers like Trudeau would even concern me. "Don't buy his book", they say and then leave it at that. Why should I care if someone wants to spend their cash on a get rich scheme? Well, I do care and I'm glad you do, too.

On his afternoon television show which ran several consecutive days, Trudeau told people they were total LOSERS if they didn't buy his magic attraction plan. Who was watching afternoon television? The "unemployed and desperate" who already felt like losers even before Trudeau callously and sadistically told them they'd be even bigger losers if they didn't buy his books and CDs.

I am tickled pink that this asshole will be sitting in jail for TEN years! I don't like 'non violent' criminals filling our jails either, BUT I love love that con-artists like Trudeau will set the example for other jerks. I think we must set a firm limit, one that will make people think twice before marketing pie-in-the-sky schemes to vulnerable people.

When people have no limits on what they can justify doing to others, we must set limits for them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jacob Felson said...

I imagine you've seen the brief televised responses to Trudeau's sentencing by his lawyers. One of their responses was quite amusing.

When asked whether she thought Trudeau was being truthful when he claimed he was a reformed man, Trudeau's lawyer smirked and began an evasive response, then seemed how unconvincing this was and said 'yes.'

As Michael Kinsley said about politicians, a gaffe in the law often happens when a lawyer accidentally reveals the truth.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few, if any will be familiar with the name Andrew Altchek.

During the early 2000s he was living it up as a west coast Gatsby of sorts, enjoying the high life with his supermodel girlfriend in a rented Hollywood Hills mansion, throwing the most lavish parties in town, jetting away to St. Barths, etc. All of it on other people's money.

I know all this because he was an acquaintance of my brother, who works in LA in the music business.

He told my brother and everyone else that all of his money was inherited. It was a huge lie.

So when the feds finally caught up with him and thew him in jail for mail fraud, everyone was surprised. Just like KT, he pleaded poverty so nothing was recovered. I think his accomplice did manage to dodge prison time by making financial reparations.

I don't recall the exact length of the sentence. The details seemed to have been all but wiped from the internet anyway. He's less than a footnote in history.

My point being that his sentence was comparable to (if not harsher than) KT's. And yet I am sure KT stole tons more money than Mr. Altchek, over the course of many more years.

KT's scams were just a little less unsubtle, I guess.

I think 10 years for KT is more than fair. But that's just my opinion.

I still recall meeting Andrew Altchek in person, when he came with us and a few other friends to a movie. He'd brought his maid with him, a nice little South American lady. He treated her like shit, and seemed to have scant regard for human beings in general.

His girlfriend on the other hand was completely lovely.

Sounds like KT was (and is, and likely always will be) much the same type of person as this Altchek scammer.

Cheers
Rob

P.S. Andrew Altchek died of a heart attack in 2010 while still serving out his sentence in Taft Camp. That's Karma for you. No tears from his victims I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Doc Bunkum, if the numerous posts on his Facebook page are any indication, I think Kevin will be focused more on honing his image as a martyred spiritual leader than on pushing his old Natural Cures shtick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

CZBZ, thank you for your kind comments. You make some excellent points. I'm still uncomfortable about the caging thing, even though I understand and agree with the need to (finally) set clear limits.

And I am glad you brought up the point about his infomercials. Most people think of infomercials as running late at night, but the smart hustler will target several different audiences. And as you indicated, many in the daytime TV audience were only reluctantly part of that audience, having been laid off or downsized during the economic meltdown. They already felt like losers and he played to that on his infomercials for Your Wish Is Your Command (the upsell to GIN).

As I've noted here before, GIN came along at just the right (or wrong) time. Katie was selling big dreams in hard times. Now, it seems, he'll be *doing* some hard time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Jacob, first of all, thank you for commenting. Your comment appeared in triplicate and I am not sure if that was a Blogger glitch or not. Just know for future reference that comments will not get posted right away. I have to moderate because even despite Blogger's reasonably functional spam filter, there would be a lot of spam comments if I did not moderate.

Now, regarding your comment: I haven't yet had time to review all of the videos and news stories, but I am not surprised about the evasiveness by Trudeau's lawyers. They got off to a bad start during his trial last November, with the opening statements.
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2013/11/kevin-trudeau-criminal-contempt-trial.html

Then a little later the lawyers pissed off the judge.
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2013/11/kevin-trudeau-criminal-trial-winds-up.html

Katie did a good enough job of pissing off the judges without his lawyers making things worse for him.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Rob (Anon Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:44:00 AM): Thank you for sharing that story. I imagine there are dozens of scumbags like Altchek pulling various types of scams. I do wish there were a better way to stop them from scamming than caging them. But I very much understand why his victims would not be sympathetic, even as I understand why KT's vics aren't either.

For the most part I don't judge Trudeau's real vics for wanting him caged. I fully realize that I have the luxury of never having been victimized by him. But I do have contempt for some of his past cohorts who are now crowing over his downfall. I have blogged about some of the cohorts, and I believe that some of them, if anything, deserve a far worse sentence than that imposed on Trudeau.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie,

Can you post the transcript of yesterday's sentencing? I don't have facebook and am unable to access the documents on the pacer website (non-U.S. citizen). It would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Anon: The transcripts are not available yet; I publish court documents as they become available but transcripts are usually not made available right away. However, I uploaded most of the available recent documents to Scribd.com. Some links are in this post and my previous post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie,

I can't thank you enough for all the great and hilarious coverage, not only of all scammers but especially Kevin Trudeau. Even though I disagree with you and believe he deserves to be in prison, I think your blog is one of the most thorough I've come across.

I think it's astonishing how the man lies so easily and expects people to believe him. But then again, that's probably the thought process of a narcissist: "If I say it enough times, they HAVE to believe me!"

Keep up the good work. I especially look forward to you your future works on Leonard Coldwell. They're as hilarious as the man himself, even if what he's accused of doing is anything but.

Oh, what the hell, I'll say it - the man is an asshole and a piece of shit. All scammers are, but you have to be a real son of a bitch to do what so many women accuse him of doing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon Tuesday, March 18, 2014 3:51:00 PM: No offense intended to dogs, of course, who are quite literally sons (and daughters) of bitches.

To me, foisting Coldwell on an unsuspecting world was one of Trudeau's most grievous offenses.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ron's summation that the only way to keep KT from scamming is to cage him. KT will never be able to live an honest life. He is feral in that sense. It's like that old saying, "Can a leopard change its spots?" The answer in KT's case is absolutely "no." His track record proves it beyond a shadow of any doubt. His destiny will always be a cage, as it should be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Doc Bunkum said...

Interesting numbers...

Inside Kevin Trudeau’s Business Model

http://ryanlee.com/kevin-trudeau/

Sunday, April 06, 2014 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Doc Bunkum said...

Actually, Kevin got off fairly lightly - he shouldn't complain. Take the similar case of Frank Sarcona...

Man promising effortless weight loss sentenced to 20 years in prison

WEST PALM BEACH —

"For more than 30 years, Frank Sarcona made tens of millions of dollars touting miracle pills that would shave pounds off effortlessly.

Despite orders from judges across the country, the Boca Raton man continued to bilk hundreds of thousands of people by crafting clever ads with screaming headlines that appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide.

"BLAST UP TO 49 POUNDS OFF YOU IN ONLY 29 DAYS!" one shouted. "Amazing Fat-Fighting Super Pill Devours Fat!" claimed another.

On Friday, those years of successful, if bogus, advertising campaigns came back to haunt him.

Citing years of fraudulent activity, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced the 58-year-old to 20 years in prison..."


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/man-promising-effortless-weight-loss-sentenced-to-/nL4zy/

Gee! That story sounds almost identical to that of Kevin Trudeau's!

Monday, April 07, 2014 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...as he left do many broke"? Who? Ehst bogus nonsense, nobody went broken or ruined from a $25 book....a book which which contains slot of good advice....in fact nobody complained. Do he was a boastful salesman, so what. The reason he was imprisoned is becsuse he was exposing the hipocricy of our government and fraudulent medical system.

If you want to imprison scammers who really did erruin Millions of lives, have some balls and go after the bankster and the oligarch who stole trillions and have sucessfully enslaved your children because you were too busy knocking a snake oil salesman.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 1:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, Anon Saturday, November 28, 2015 1:52:00 AM... those are some of the same tired old arguments I've been hearing for years.

First off, as you may realize if you read this post (or numerous others on this blog), I remain ambivalent about the "justice" of putting nonviolent offenders -- even serial scammers -- in a cage.

Secondly, it is inaccurate to say that nobody was harmed by a $25 book. Perhaps nobody went broke just from the initial purchase, but with Trudeau, as with other scammers, inexpensive (or free) books or other info-products are the gateway drug.

Third, it seems clear that you have bought into Trudeau's hero/martyr narrative, as have many others, which is why he still has such a following (as do other scammers who exploit the same false narrative). Those poor oppressed hucksters have you guys right where they want you. The fact that the government, big bankers, Big Pharma, the medical profession etc. have done some awful things lends just enough "truthiness" to the hero/martyr narrative to attract people who aren't willing or able to do a little further research on the scammers who so relentlessly exploit the theme. But the misdeeds of Big Pharma, gov't, etc. don't exonerate or vindicate those scammers. I have written a lot about these matters on this blog.

Finally, to be outraged by "snake oil salesmen" doesn't rule out being outraged by the "bigger" scammers and wrongdoers. This is either a red herring or a false dichotomy... or both. I'm well aware of the larger atrocities, but on this Whirled I choose my battles.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:35:00 PM  

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