I shed no tears yesterday when snake oil salesman, err, “pitchman,” I mean “author” Kevin Trudeau was sent to prison for failing to pay a $37 million dollar fine. He claims to be broke and says the Judge is trying to get him to pay money he doesn’t have. When confronted about $12,000 cuff links he recently bought, he responded that those weren’t for him, but for his wife. I know that when I was broke I too bought five figures worth of jewelry for my significant other, so I totally believe him.
I don’t like paying taxes or anything to the Government as much as the next guy. But having been audited once, I can certainly tell you that I’m happy that I follow the law, even when I disagree with it. I can’t imagine that Trudeau wouldn’t still be rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams even if he did pay the fines. But some people are just greedy or don’t think laws should apply to them. And now he finds himself in the lovely Metropolitan Correctional Center. For his sake, hopefully his next book isn’t called “The Prison Rape Secrets That They Don’t Want You To Know About.”
One of the big knocks on this books is that they don’t provide information that isn’t readily available. For example, he did a book on Debt Cures that “They” don’t want you to know about and it was panned as containing information that most financial advisers provide for free in pamphlets and on websites. But Trudeau is if nothing a brilliant marketer. By implying there is a conspiracy and playing on the belief of many that there is a secret society or only crooked politicians, he gets people to buy this junk. He has a background of a criminal conviction for credit card fraud and larceny among other legal trouble, but apparently he can be trusted and others can’t.
So I’m not sad that a low life who preys on the fears and paranoia of others is in jail. But it did get me wondering. Are there any legal cures that attorneys, Judges or anyone else doesn’t want you to know about?
The honest answer is not really. Perhaps the police want you to believe that if you shop lift or do drugs you will go to jail, but for first time, minor offenses, as long as you have an attorney in your corner that knows what they are doing. You don’t need an attorney at all for most very minor speeding tickets. The State will represent you for free if you are pursuing child support although their success and response rate is atrocious.
All of this information though is also readily available to anyone that’s willing to do a little bit of research. There is no secret society of attorneys that tries to repress information from the people and if there is, my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.
The good news is that scam artists like Trudeau or people like Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis tend to end up in trouble. And the biggest reason that happens is they get greedy and begin to think that they are invincible. It’s the same trap that Rod Blagojevich got caught in. Once you believe you are untouchable, you push the limits too far and it catches up to you.
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