Trying to report a criminal
March 14, 2006 9:20 AM   Subscribe

How can I get the Illinois Attorney General's office to respond?

I have a complaint about a company that I feel is fabricating competition, price fixing, and practicing general consumer fraud, but I can't get anywhere with the Illinois Attorney General. They have a form you fill out on there website, but it seems to go to never never land. I actually even got a name at one point, but that person hasn't called back after 4 messages. Lisa Madigan (the Attorney General) loves exposure and publicity, and I'm sure this would get exposure.
posted by astorias to Law & Government (8 answers total)
You might always contact a media source. If the Attorney General loves exposure and publicity, perhaps a newspaper reporter or a television reporter could get a response that you cannot.

Also, from my personal experience, it's always better to go to try to accomplish something like this in person. For me, it's a bit of a drive to the center of government, but if I'm being stonewalled, I will take the time to make that drive and to find the person I want physically. I've never had this method fail. Sometimes I have to wait a bit, but people are less able to ignore a real human being in the lobby than they are a phone call or an e-mail.
posted by jdroth at 9:23 AM on March 14, 2006

Perhaps you can try the Better Business Bureau? Not sure if this will accomplish what you intend (?) but it may elicit a response from someone who has connections at the Attorney General's office.
posted by redsnare at 10:03 AM on March 14, 2006

Well, if you live in Chicago, I'd start by checking with your Democratic Ward Committeeman. Going up that chain often helps. I'd also suggest contacting the city. They have administrative regulations dealing with this sort of thing and they are enforce, I assure you. If you live outside the city, try a paper letter mailed and faxed. Lawyers respond to actual paper more than data filled in on a website.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:16 AM on March 14, 2006

Is it possible that you're only one of many people who have reported this and so it's not a priority for anyone to get back to you?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:33 AM on March 14, 2006

The Better Business Bureau is an organization operated by business interests. They are not a regulatory agency and rarely take action against those who pay their bills.

Have you filed a complaint in the Courts? Get thee to an attorney!

Also try telling other politicians and the press.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:36 AM on March 14, 2006

If you, yourself, have been victimized by unlawful conduct, a consumer complaint isn't really the right strategy. The thing to do is swear out a complaint at your police precinct. A CPD fraud-squad detective will have a lot better chance at getting the AG's office, or the State Attorney (the local prosecutor) to pay attention than you can on your own. You can also file a civil suit for the losses you've suffered.

If you haven't been victimized yourself, than the route you're pursuing is probably the right one -- but you need to recognize that "good citizen" accusations tend to fall to the bottom of the priority pile. If you can find a victim and be that victim's advocate with the police and bureaucracy, you might have a lot better luck.
posted by MattD at 11:20 AM on March 14, 2006

It's possible that the office is currently looking into a case against that business or individual and is hesitant to communicate this to the population at large in an attempt to make sure the business doesn't know. Usually a state attorney general's office will attempt to collect enough paperwork to build a solid case before doing anything -- that's why they employ a number of investigators. Stopping by in person might convince them that you're genuine and elicit a response -- but they still might not be able to say whether they have an open case.
posted by mikeh at 12:11 PM on March 14, 2006

Have you called them? 312- 814-3000. They can mail you the forms. Takes a bit. But it gets the mediation process started. And you've got paper to back you up, which is what most of Illinois is still used to dealing with.
If that doesn't go anywhere, email me and I can probably help you out more.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2006

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