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DOJ bars group from misleading down-payment statements

Partners in Charity prohibited from false promotions

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An Illinois down-payment-assistance organization and its president have been permanently barred from making false and misleading statements in promoting their program to house sellers, officials said today. West Dundee, Ill.-based Partners in Charity Inc. (PIC) and its president, Charles M. Konkus of Barrington, Ill., have been permanently barred from making false and misleading statements in promoting the down-payment-assistance program, the Justice Department said. According to the government's amended complaint, PIC enters into "down-payment-assistance" contracts with house sellers. Under these contracts, PIC agrees to provide the down payment to people who buy the sellers' houses, and the sellers agree to reimburse PIC for the down payment and to pay PIC an administrative fee, the complaint says. The suit alleges that in marketing and operating this scheme, PIC and Konkus falsely advised house sellers and others that the sellers may claim charitable deductions on their federal in...