What's a poor perplexed flim-flam man to do?
In case it isn't painfully obvious, the imprisoned serial scammer to whom I'm referring is Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie on this blog, whom I've been writing about almost constantly for over a month now.
And I'll tell you what Trudeau did in order to try to clear up his puzzlement about his post-clink career options: he wrote an email to Judge Robert Gettleman, who presided over his long-running civil case, turned it into a civil contempt case, and guided it towards becoming a criminal contempt case, the latter of which was presided over by Judge Ronald Guzman. Judge Guzman is the one who actually handed down the 10-year sentence, but Judge Gettleman has been a key player in Katie's legal saga for many years.
I didn't find out about the email to Judge Gettleman until earlier today, or I would have added the info to my previous post, in which (among several other issues) I speculated about Trudeau's post-prison fate. I shared my opinion that to a large extent his future was pretty much in the hands of the Hon. Judge Gettleman, at least in matters pertaining to the case that landed him in prison. Clearly Trudeau sees it that way as well, judging by the questions in his email to Judge Gettleman, as reported in a January 26, 2020 article in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The email arrived for U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman early on a Friday afternoon. Its author opened with eight simple words:
“This is Kevin Trudeau. You may remember me.”
There is little chance Gettleman forgot. Federal prosecutors accused the fraudster, onetime TV pitchman and author of “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” of brazenly defying Chicago’s federal courts for more than a decade.
But Trudeau, 56, has quietly been serving a 10-year prison sentence for contempt of an order from Gettleman. Now, though the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says Trudeau is not due to go free until May 2022, he wrote in a Jan. 10 email to Gettleman that he “will be released in the near future.”
And he claims he doesn’t want to get into any more trouble.
“I am writing to you to ask some specific questions about what I can and cannot do when I am released,” Trudeau wrote. “As you can imagine, I never want to be held in contempt again.”
He followed the comment with a smiley face.
Now, it's been quite a while since I've pored through the lengthy Trudeau dockets myself; at the height of the court battles in 2013 and 2014, and even for a while after that, I downloaded and read hundreds of pages, blogged about what I'd read, and uploaded numerous documents to Scribd -- not just the dockets but also a variety of motions, responses, pleas, and even a few transcripts. (This is a link to my posts tagged, "Kevin Trudeau court cases, but it's probably not comprehensive.) I'm currently trying to reactivate my PACER account just to see what I can see, but meanwhile we'll have to go with Seidel's reporting and my reporting about his reporting. Fair enough?
Seidel, who is clearly cognizant of Katie's messaging style, wrote that the January 10 email was "classic Trudeau."
He quickly brought up Nelson Mandela — quoting the late South African leader — and he told the judge, “when I come back to society, you will see a wonderful happy and peaceful new man, ready for a new life with only gratitude and love in my heart.”
Apart from talking about what a Changed Man he is and taking a potshot at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding those diet-book refunds, the main purpose of Trudeau's email was to ask Judge Gettleman specific questions about his payment obligations and his career options after his release.
He asked how much money he is still expected to pay the court, how he should expect to make payments — “the receiver took every penny I had, and confiscated and liquidated everything,” he said.
Finally, he asked, “when I am released from prison, am I allowed to earn money or must I still turn over 100% of all the money I would earn to ‘someone,’ and if so who?”
He also asked if he could start a business, earn royalties or speaking fees, or receive “donations and gifts.”
He said his attorneys won’t give him advice, “as I still owe them over $200,000 in legal fees.” Following the advice of counsel didn’t work out too well in the past anyway, he said.
“So I come to you directly,” Trudeau told Gettleman, “as YOU are the ONLY source that can answer these questions, as only you KNOW the answers.”
At this time I have no idea whether or not Gettleman has responded to Trudeau -- I'm guessing not, but I don't know for sure -- but it's no surprise that the email ended up in the public record anyway. That's just the way this stuff works. And in fact, over the years quite a few personal communications about his cases have been entered into the public record, there for anyone with a PACER account to see. I'm sure that I haven't seen nearly all of them, but I've seen and posted about some of them.
What I do know, and have written about -- and Seidel mentioned it in his article as well -- is that Judge Gettleman has called Trudeau a liar, and that in 2015, when the judge was talking with lawyers about attempts to collect judgments against Katie, he said that they hadn't collected nearly what they should have, but perhaps would do so someday. Gettleman also added, "And when he finishes serving his time, he's going to have to come back here and explain that to me."
That was then, this is now. As I noted in my previous post, I don't know how much money Trudeau still owes, and his email to Gettleman indicates that he doesn't know either.
This recent attempt to reach out to Judge Gettleman isn't the first time Trudeau has tried communicating with the judge via email. Some of you may recall that back in 2010, Trudeau was sentenced to 30 days in jail for harassment after he urged his fans to write to Gettleman begging for mercy for Kevin. He published the judge's email address, which in all fairness had previously appeared on at least one public site, but then again, on that site it had not been posted in the context of urging thousands of deluded followers of a scam artist to flood the judge's in box. (Here's one of numerous links about that incident; I've blogged about it too but can't find my own link at the moment.) The judge's computer and BlackBerry were flooded with hundreds messages from the minions, some of them threatening. No doubt that made a lasting impression on Gettleman.
One part of me thinks that the judge owes Trudeau an honest answer to his current questions about what he's allowed to do following his release, despite the distinct possibility that Trudeau has no serious intention of mending his ways but is merely trying to convince Gettleman that he wants to be a good boy from now on. I can't help thinking that while he's trying to maintain a facade of being respectful and compliant, Trudeau is also plotting ways to slip the surly bonds of government reach and sail off somewhere to enjoy those assets that many of us think are almost certainly hidden in various far-flung places. Even so, he should be given as accurate an answer as is possible, just so it's clear that the court has met all of its obligations.
But there's also a big part of me that thinks that perhaps Trudeau's seemingly being left in the dark about these basic questions is some sort of poetic justice for hiding the truth for years from countless followers -- particularly ex-GIN (Global Information Network) members -- about what he was doing with their money; about who really owned GIN (he did, of course, though the club was promoted either as being "privately owned" or being "owned" by the membership); and about the fact that the "GIN Council" was a big lie; and so forth. Secrecy was a big thing in GIN, and I'm guessing that it still is, given the fact that the current leadership is composed of long-time Katie buddies.
F'rinstance, I'm willing to bet that most current GIN members are just as much in the dark about the total actual cost to reach those advanced membership levels that the club touts as members were back when Trudeau was at the helm. Even though the web site does reveal the cost to join GIN, and the monthly fee, that's just for Level 1. There are no dollar figures listed, at least not that I can see, for higher levels.
But I'm guessing it still costs extra to upgrade to each level, just judging from the fact that the chart on the Share GIN Bonus page indicates that members get a percentage of the upgrade fees that are paid by the folks they refer. And more than likely, the membership levels grow progressively more expensive. GIN is not an MLM anymore as it was at the height of the Katie daze, but it appears that there are still monetary incentives to refer as many new members as possible to the club, and to encourage them to stay in the club and upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.
In any case I don't think one can go far wrong by assuming that Trudeau himself remains, as Judge Guzman said upon sentencing him back in 2014, "deceitful to the very core." Still, in theory, I think that he deserves to have the parameters of his post-release job ops spelled out. Maybe that will finally be determined when he is released. Meanwhile, we may be able to get a pretty good general idea just by taking another look at an existing document.
The original sentencing order
Some of the conditions of Trudeau's release were, of course, stipulated at the time he was sentenced in March of 2014. In addition to 10 years in prison, Judge Guzman sentenced him to "supervised release," i.e., probation, for five years following his release. In this September 2014 blog post I posted several links to court documents, including a link to a very long document (actually several docs in one), that I had uploaded to Scribd.
Included in that long doc is a copy of the judgment signed by Ronald Guzman on March 17, 2014. Here is a direct link; the judgment document begins on page 137. There are several other items that may also be of interest if you want to know more about the case or if you just want to refresh your memory.
But if you don't feel like plowing through all of that, here are screen shots of all seven pages of the original judgment. (As always, click to enlarge.)
|Signed, sealed delivered: here's page 1 of the original judgment,|
handed down on March 17, 2014 and filed in the court on April 3, 2014.
|Aw, gee... it appears that Katie can't go to casinos any more (see page 5, under "Special Conditions..."). |
But maybe his cronies can continue to market his big Baccarat scam.