MADIGAN SUES McHENRY COUNTY REAL ESTATE BROKER
Attorney General Asks Court to Shut Down Business and Order Company to Reimburse Victims
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit against a McHenry County real estate broker for allegedly deceiving consumers into paying $3,500 each to participate in a three-day seminar designed to teach methods for profiting in the pre-foreclosure real estate market.
Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants, Insider Real Estate and its founder Christopher Scanlan, violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Business Opportunity Sales Law by making false promises to consumers regarding their chances of success and the potential profitability involved in locating and selling property in the pre-foreclosure real estate market. The lawsuit also asserts that the defendants violated the law by failing to register their seminar as a “business opportunity” with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Scanlan founded Insider Real Estate in 2005 to market his foreclosure profiteering seminars. As part of his marketing efforts, Scanlan allegedly promised that the Insider Real Estate program would teach consumers everything they need to know about the pre-foreclosure market and that consumers would learn “insider secrets” that they could not learn anywhere except through Scanlan’s extensive mentorship. Scanlan also allegedly misrepresented that consumers who worked hard could expect to make approximately $20,000 to $50,000 a year on these transactions. Additionally, even before the program began, Scanlan allegedly advertised that 92 percent of the program’s students had used information from the program to make a profit.
Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Scanlan and Insider Real Estate from continuing to engage in these deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and to dissolve Insider Real Estate’s corporate charter. In addition, the lawsuit seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud. Finally, Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution to consumers.Assistant Attorney General Anshuman Vaidya is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.