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Sheri Coleman’s brother sued for mishandling charity donations

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CHICAGO, IL (KTVI) – The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is suing the brother of murder victim Sheri Coleman, claiming he mishandled $33,173.  It was money meant to memorialize Sheri and her boys Gavin and Garett, found strangled in their beds in 2009.  The lawsuit comes after a former board member raised questions to FOX 2.

One of Sheri Coleman’s best friends came forward last July, asking about tens of thousands of dollars she helped raise.

Meegan Turnbeaugh helped create the non–profit called Sheri Ann and her boys.  She stepped down in 2010 to let Sheri’s family manage the money.  She showed us copies of checks totaling about $35,000 and asked us to forward the documentation to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

When the Coleman murder case was making regular headlines, the late Sheri Coleman’s brother, Mario Decicco talked to us about the overwhelming community support.  In 2011, he said through tears, “I think she’d be very proud. I think she’d be very happy about it. I think she’d be astounded, she would be uh, she would be uh blown away by it.”

Decicco would not answer last summer, when I tried contacting him about the money.  He did answer a phone call from St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter Nick Pistor, who says Decicco claimed he left an anonymous donation of about $28,000 in cash, on the countertop of a Chicago area charity.

The explanation wasn’t good enough for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which alleges that only about $2,500, was spent on the intended purpose of domestic violence prevention.  The A.G. wants Decicco liable for the remaining $33,000 and wants him barred from acting as a charitable fiduciary in Illinois.

I was unable to reach Decicco for a comment today.

Follow Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV