Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 11-CH-5767. Honorable Terence M. Sheen, Judge, Presiding.
In proceedings on a complaint filed by the Attorney General seeking injunctive relief for defendant's failure to comply with an investigative subpoena issued to defendant pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Consumer Fraud Act based on information that defendant might be violating the Consumer Fraud Act, the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act and the Attorney Act by selling instructional DVDs, holding seminars, and providing consultations about bankruptcy and foreclosure laws, the trial court properly entered summary judgment for the Attorney General, since the Attorney General's investigation was statutorily authorized, the subpoena was relevant to that investigation, and the preliminary injunction was justified by the potential harm the public might suffer pending disposition of the underlying action.
Christopher S. Carroll, of Law Office of Christopher S. Carroll, of Aurora, for appellant.
Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Chicago (Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, and Christina T. Hansen, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel), for the People.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHOSTOK delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Jorgensen and Birkett concurred in the judgment and opinion.
SCHOSTOK, PRESIDING JUSTICE
[¶1] On December 9, 2011, the Attorney General filed a complaint against the defendant, Michele DiCosola, for his failure to comply with an investigative subpoena that the Attorney General issued to him pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (Consumer Fraud Act) (815 ILCS 505/3, 4 (West 2010)). The complaint sought injunctive relief. The trial court granted summary judgment in the Attorney General's favor on the complaint. The defendant appeals from that order. We affirm.
[¶2] I. BACKGROUND
[¶3] On December 9, 2011, the Attorney General filed against the defendant a complaint that included the following allegations. The defendant sold instructional DVDs, held seminars, and provided one-on-one consultations regarding bankruptcy and foreclosure laws. In May 2011, the Attorney General received information indicating that the defendant might be in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (815 ILCS 505/1 et seq. (West 2010)), the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act (765 ILCS 940/1 et seq. (West 2010)), and the Attorney Act (705 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq. (West 2010)). Pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of the Consumer Fraud Act, the Attorney General issued to the defendant an investigative subpoena requesting that he appear at the Attorney General's office on November 18, 2011, and that he bring certain documents with him. The defendant did not appear for the meeting and did not contact the Attorney General to reschedule. The complaint sought relief under section 6 of the Consumer Fraud Act (815 ILCS 505/6 (West 2010)). Specifically, the Attorney General sought to enforce compliance with
the subpoena and to enjoin the defendant from engaging in trade or commerce within Illinois, pending such compliance.
[¶4] On May 22, 2013, the defendant filed an answer to the complaint. The defendant admitted to selling the DVDs but denied that they were instructional. The defendant admitted that he held a seminar on December 9 and 10, 2011, entitled " Common Law Court Decoded," and that some of the attendants gave him $400. He further admitted posting testimonials on his website and on YouTube from customers who attended his seminars. In one testimonial, the customer stated that he attended one of the defendant's seminars on foreclosure and further stated: " I was able to save my house, go to court, find remedy, and win my house free and clear. Unbelievable experience." The defendant admitted to offering private consultations on various topics, including issues with foreclosure cases, Internal Revenue Service cases, criminal cases, and sovereignty documents, for $100 per ...