AG's office sues over martial arts scam
The state attorney general’s office has filed suit against a Virginia man accused in a mixed martial arts scam involving events that never took place.
John Dickerson of Virginia got Springfield area businesses and residents to pay for sponsorships and tickets to martial arts events, then canceled or supposedly delayed the events, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a press release. When refunds were sought, Dickerson wouldn’t oblige, she said.
Madigan alleges Dickerson sold more than $1,200 worth of tickets for phony events allegedly planned for Glenwood High School in Chatham and at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus.
As the events drew closer, Dickerson said the events were canceled or delayed. Consumers who inquired with the high school or college campus were told no such event was planned. Madigan said after many consumers contacted Dickerson for refunds of $15 to $25 per ticket, he ceased all contact with them.
A Springfield area business that paid Dickerson $500 to co-sponsor an event also never received a refund, she said.
“Dozens of Springfield area residents paid for what they thought were legitimate events only to discover it was a scam,” Madigan said in the release. “My office has filed this lawsuit in an attempt to recoup the money they lost to this scam.”
The lawsuit filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court asks the court to require Dickerson to pay restitution to consumers affected by the scam and asks the court to impose civil penalties on the defendant.
Madigan urged consumers who may have been victimized by this scam to contact her office’s Consumer Fraud hotline at 1-800-243-0618.
Assistant Attorney General Philip Heimlich is handling the case for the office's Consumer Fraud Bureau.