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March 24, 2015

MADIGAN FILES SUIT AGAINST CHARITY PRESIDENT FOR
MISAPPROPRIATING FUNDS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit against the president of a downstate charity, Sheri Ann & Her Boys, alleging over $33,000 was misappropriated from the charity’s accounts.

Madigan filed the complaint in Cook County Circuit Court against Mario Decicco, of La Grange Park, for misappropriating $33,173 from Sheri Ann & Her Boys, a violence prevention charity created in honor of his sister, Sheri Ann Coleman, and her sons Garett D. E. Coleman, and Gavin C. Coleman, who were murdered in their Columbia, Ill., home in May 2009. The lawsuit alleges violations of the state’s Charitable Trust and Solicitation for Charity Acts.

An investigation by Madigan’s office revealed that of the $35,725 held by the Sheri Ann & Her Boys charity, only $2,550 of the charity’s funds appeared to have been spent on violence prevention efforts, which is the charity’s stated mission. The lawsuit alleges that at least $33,173 of the charity’s funds appeared to have been improperly withdrawn as cash and spent on expenses outside of the organization’s mission.

“The circumstances in this case are extremely disheartening,” Madigan said. “I am filing this action to ensure that the misappropriated charitable funds are recovered and dedicated to violence prevention efforts as originally intended.”

The Attorney General’s lawsuit asks the court to remove Decicco as the charity’s president and dissolve the charity. It also asks that the court order a full accounting of the charity’s funds that Decicco withdrew as cash or used from 2010 to the present and hold Decicco liable for assets that he misused or for which he is unable to account. The complaint also asks the court to ban Decicco from acting as a charitable fiduciary in Illinois.

Assistant Bureau Chief Barry Goldberg and Assistant Attorney General Pasquale Esposito are handling this case for Madigan’s Charitable Trust Bureau.

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