Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chicago Mexican Consulate Workers Get Mediator To Help Settle $350K Defamation Scandal

Two Mexican Consulate staff workers prolonging blunder by a Chicago law firm and getting a religious mediator to pursue remedy of the latest transparency and alleged extortion scandal. Free word of advice, both Alfonso Rosas Joule and Ricardo Duran Peña should just fire Ancel Glink for their recent letter and blunder, forget about a defamation lawsuit or collecting $350K, provide transparency and move on.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 28, 2015

Chicago, IL - On Tuesday, Father Marco A. Mercado told Vicente C. Serrano, the radio host for Sin Censura a Spanish language program that he will be representing two Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago staff workers in a dispute over a retraction/settlement who seek $350K for damages in a defamation allegation and threat to file a lawsuit against Adolfo Vega, owner of La Bodega, Ltd. and Sin Censura. According to Catholic Priest Mercado who is based at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Chicago and a member of the Fiestas Patrias Committee 2014 during the Sin Censura program stated, that he is now the mediator for Alfonso Rosas Joule and Ricardo Duran Peña, two Mexican Consulate workers. Mercado told Serrano that a pending defamation lawsuit filing has been suspended pending the outcome of the mediation between all parties involved.
Father Mercado wouldn't say who approached him to become a mediator, but told Serrano that it was just a "misunderstanding" between Joule, Peña and Vega. Fr. Mercado did not say what the end result of the current scandal with the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago and two of its workers would be. 
A letter dated March 11 from Ancel Glink, a law firm indicated that it represented the Mexican Consulate, Joule and Peña. After the Ancel Glink letter was publicly released, Mexican Consul Carlos Jiménez Macias denied that the law firm represented the Consulate, but said that it only represented Joule and Peña. Joule and Peña were actually working for Consul Jiménez Macias during Consulate working hours while calling businesses in Chicago to get donations for the Grito event in 2014. 
In the Ancel Glink letter threatening to file a lawsuit for defamation, it specifically asked for $350K in damages, if paid by Vega and Serrano, the lawsuit would not be filed.
Some Mexican nationals who became aware of the scandal through the Sin Censura radio program alleged that Joule and Peña were just trying to extort Vega and Serrano out of $350K. 
The whole Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago alleged extortion and scandal resulted out of a request for transparency in September 2014 by Mexican nationals and Serrano in Chicago.
When contacted on Tuesday afternoon, Father Mercado would only state, "I am acting as mediator between both parties. I am hoping for the best, but so far no change has been made in regards to the lawyers. The litigations still up to both parties if they decided to continue or not. The fiscal report is the same that you may have."
Father Mercado's role was short lived, he later stated, "It is with great sadness that I inform you that my role as mediator failed. At this point is up to them how to proceed with this dispute."
In this case many legal questions have been raised and Joule, including Peña could be accused of conspiring to commit tax fraud by suggesting for Vega to donate funds to a non-profit organization, but the funds would be funneled to the Fiestas Patrias instead of claiming they were donated to the National Museum of Mexican Art.
If Joule and Peña are serious about trying to resolve their present dilema over the current scandal that has now been reported in Mexico, they don't need a mediator to actually prolong their dilema any further or to dig the hole any deeper. All they have to do is to fired Attorney Pedro Fregoso Jr. and the Ancel Glink law firm for their blunder in writing the letter to Vega exposing the intend of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago and its two workers attempting to collect $350K for their own personal benefit.
Last Thursday, Sin Censura reported, that the Ancel Glink law firm had retracted a retraction/settlement letter sent out by Attorney Fregoso on behalf of the General Consulate of Mexico in Chicago asking $350,000 in settlement for damages. Attorney Fregoso accused Vega of recorded a conversation of several Mexican Consulate workers who were requesting donations for the Grito event in 2014. Vega released the telephone recorded conversations to Serrano who then aired it in his program last September 2014. In the conversation, Consulate staff worker Joule attempts to get Vega to donate funds to the Grito event by suggesting Vega to commit fraud by making the funds directly to the National Museum of Mexican Art and then its Director Carlos Tortolero, the former President of the Fiestas Patrias would give him a receipt showing that he donated funds to the museum, which is non-proft. Tortolero would then apply those funds directly to the Fiestas Patrias, which the Consulate would benefit and Vega could claim on his federal taxes that he donated funds to the non-profit museum instead to Fiesta Patrias, so he could get a tax credit. 
What the Consulate staff workers were doing is actually illegal under U.S. federal law and the Consulate workers could be facing federal charges for conspiracy to commit federal income tax fraud while representing a foreign government. Both of the Consulate workers could be facing deportation as well, if charged and convicted for trying to commit fraud in the U.S.
Vega was accused by the Consulate workers of recording their conversation illegally under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act. But the Eavesdropping Act does not apply, if a crime was being committed and if the Consulate workers made those calls from the Mexican Consulate in Chicago on behalf Consul Carlos Jiménez Macias.
The whole General Consulate of Mexico in Chicago debacle and scandal began last year after Mexican nationals and Serrano requested for Consul Jiménez Macias to release El Grito event funds that were provided by the Mexican government. Consul Jiménez Macias has refused.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) was able to confirm, that Tortolero never received any funds from the inappropriate actions by the Consulate staff workers. Tortolero released the Fiestas Patrias fiscal report to HNNUSA and no entry was made to show the total amount that the Mexican government gave the Consulate. Tortolero says, that he doesn't know how much the Consulate received from the Mexican government. The Mexican Consulate in Chicago generates more than $5M per year from Mexican nationals for services. 
HNNUSA first posted the Fiestas Patrias fiscal report and the three page letter from Attorney Fregoso. The HNNUSA posting went viral and people, includong organizations began to criticize the Ancel Glink law firm for trying to get Vega and Serrano to pay $350,000 to keep Fregoso from filing a dafamation lawsuit on behalf of the General Consulate of Mexico in Chicago.
Now, the law firm of Ancel Glink is saying, that it is representing both of the Mexican Consulate workers instead of the General Consulate of Mexico in Chicago, according to Serrano.
In 2014, two Consulate workers, Alfonso Rosas Joule, in charge of Community Organizations for the Consulate and Ricardo Duran Peña, the Consulate Office Coordinator were requesting up to $10,000 of sponsorships for the Grito event on behalf of Consul General Jiménez Macias.
HNNUSA has made numerous attempts to contact Attorney Fregoso and Consul Jiménez Macias about the dafamation and eavesdropping debacle and latest scandal, but they have not responded. 

Humberto Martínez Pelayo, the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago administrator in 2014 sent out sponsorship packages for the Grito event from $1,000 to $15,000. It is not known, if any of those packages were sold by Pelayo in the guise of a donation in 2014.

Editors note:

Vicente C. Serrano from Sin Censura Radio program has announced that on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, a major protest calling for transparency of all events and El Grito 2014 sponsored by the Mexican Consulate will take place in front of the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago beginning at 11:00 a.m., 204 S. Ashland Ave. People are invited to attend to participate and call on Consul Carlos Jiménez Macias to release information about how much funds the Mexican government gave the Consulate for the Grito event.

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