Federal judge throws TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau in jail after lavish spending revealed

He was released 24 hours later

CHICAGO, Ill. - An infamous infomercial king is behind bars after an Illinois federal judge finally hit his breaking point.

Inside a Chicago courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Robert Gettleman told Kevin Trudeau he has run out of chances to follow orders, and sent him to jail.

In July, Gettleman found the TV pitchman in contempt for failing to pay a $37 million fine for misleading consumers about his best-selling weight-loss book.

At the time, Gettleman opted to have Trudeau turn all his assets over to a court-appointed receiver instead of incarcerating him. Trudea was also ordered to stop his lavish spending.

However, attorneys with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) presented new evidence this week, alleging Trudeau hid a bank account in Australia. They also discovered expensive purchases of $900 on trip to the liquor store, $920 on cigars and $359 on two haircuts at Vidal Sassoon.

Last November, a 41 Action News undercover investigation examined the Global Information Network, a secret club promoted by Trudeau where members pay thousands of dollars.

During the contempt proceedings, the FTC argued Trudeau was using the club to conceal millions of dollars from the government.

Despite pleas by Trudeau, it was clear Gettleman was out of patience.

"This is not an infomercial. You can't talk your way out of this," he said, according to WMAQ-TV.

Trudeau will meet in federal lockup with the receiver to see if he can completely untangle the web of offshore accounts. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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