Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan deserves to lose her seat

By | September 18, 2006

I just sent this letter to Stewart Umholtz, the challenger to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the upcoming election:

Mr. Umholtz,

Lisa Madigan has so badly handled a case of possible large-scale criminal fraud, about which I and others have submitted complaints, that she has inspired me to tell you the story of what she did, in the hope that perhaps it will assist you in some small way in your effort to unseat her and put someone competent into the position.

If you visit , , and , you will find the story of how the Web magazine “Vegetarians in Paradise” apparently uncovered criminal fraud being committed by a a company named “Emes Kosher Products”.

Emes Kosher Products was selling a selling a product called “Emes Kosher-Jel”, a gelatin substitute, which they claimed was free of all animal-derived ingredients. Unfortunately, independent laboratory tests proved that the product did, in fact, contain animal-derived ingredients. This misrepresentation has a substantive effect on three classes of people:

  • vegetarians and vegans, who do not eat animal-derived products for ethical reasons;
  • Jews who keep the Kosher laws, for whom animal-derived products must be treated differently from products with no animal-derived ingredients; and
  • individuals with medical dietary restrictions who might be adversely affected by unknowingly consuming animal-derived products.

In short, Emes Kosher Products knowingly deceived its customers, selling a product under false pretenses, causing those customers to unknowingly violate their ethical and/or religious beliefs and perhaps even endangering the health of some of their customers.

“Vegetarians in Paradise” contacted Lisa Madigan’s office and asked her to initiate an investigation into the large-scale criminal fraud perpetrated by Emes Kosher Products. She responded with a couple of useless form letters, as you will see when you review the material at the URLs provided above, and did not initiate any sort of investigation.

I stumbled upon the “Vegetarians in Paradise” articles and posted about them on my blog, at . I, too, complained to Lisa Madigan’s office, in a letter dated October 16, 2005. The text of my letter is posted in my blog entry, should you wish to review it.

I did not hear back from Lisa Madigan’s office until OVER NINE MONTHS after I sent my complaint. And what do you think I got back from her office, after waiting that long? You guessed it — the same two useless form letters her office had sent to “Vegetarians in Paradise”.

In summary, an obvious case of large-scale criminal fraud was brought to the attention of the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Rather than doing her job and investigating the crime, Ms. Madigan has chosen to let the criminals get away with it.

I wish you the best of luck in your effort to unseat Lisa Madigan, and I hope that if you are successful, you will do a better job of investigating and prosecuting criminals than she has.


Jonathan Kamens

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