SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Wednesday she has filed a lawsuit against a man scamming Springfield-area business and residents to pay for sponsorships and tickets to martial arts events.

The attorney general filed the lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court against John Dickerson of Virginia, Ill., for conning businesses and area residents into paying to sponsor mixed martial arts events that never took place.

Madigan alleges Dickerson sold more than $1,200 worth of tickets for phony events at Glenwood High School in Chatham and at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus.

According to the Attorney General's Office, as the events drew closer, Dickerson canceled or supposedly delayed the events.

Consumers who inquired with the high school or college campus were told no such event was planned, Madigan said.

The attorney general said after many consumers contacted Dickerson for refunds of $15 to $25 per ticket, he ceased all contact.

A Springfield area business that paid Dickerson $500 to co-sponsor an event also never received a refund, Madigan said.

"Dozens of Springfield area residents paid for what they thought were legitimate events only to discover it was a scam," she said.

"My office has filed this lawsuit in an attempt to recoup the money they lost to this scam."

The attorney general's lawsuit asks the court to require Dickerson to pay restitution to consumers affected by the scam and asks it to impose civil penalties.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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