Bryan Cohen Feb. 15, 2013, 6:06pm

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Thursday against an Edgewood, Kentucky-based marketing firm that allegedly conned small businesses in southern Illinois into paying for advertising in unauthorized basketball promotional materials.

Eagle Marketing Group LLC allegedly unfairly induced businesses to pay for advertising in marketing and promotional materials for the Southern Illinois University men's basketball team, even though the firm was not authorized by the university to use its names, trademarks or logos or in any other way promote the team.

Eagle Marketing Group LLC allegedly charged businesses more than $300 for a sponsorship fee to be featured in a 2012 team schedule for the SIU Salukis that was never authorized by the university and promised to air television advertisements featuring the businesses that never aired.

"This sham operation targeted honest business owners," Madigan said. "My office is pursuing this litigation in an attempt to recover any available funds and will seek to bar this company from operating in Illinois."

Madigan filed the lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court. The lawsuit seeks to impose civil penalties on The Eagle Marketing Group LLC.

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