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Family Claims LULAC Stiffed Them

(CN) - A family claims they contributed thousands of dollars and hours of work to LULAC because the League of United Latin American Citizens promised their children $60,000 in college scholarships - then failed to deliver them.

The Hernandez family claims in Cook County Court that it paid thousands to sponsor and produce a well-attended "Tejano Dance," but LULAC never delivered on its promise of scholarships.

Francisco Hernandez says he could not pay tuition for his two sons to attend college because of "financial difficulties." He claims LULAC officers told him the organization awards scholarships every year with help from corporate sponsors such as (nonparties) Wal-Mart and Pepsi.

Hernandez and his sons, Edward and George, say they paid the $25 membership fee to join LULAC, which is the "oldest and largest direct membership Hispanic advocacy organization in the U.S."

In exchange for the promise of "full-ride" scholarships, LULAC also asked for an investment, according to the complaint.

The Hernandez family says they spent thousands of dollars organizing and sponsoring the "Tejano" dance. Producing the event required food, a sound system, ticket printing and air and hotel accommodations for the band, according to the complaint.

More than 270 people attended, but the Hernandez brothers never received any scholarship money, according to the complaint.

The Hernandezes seek damages for fraud, deceptive business practices, conspiracy and breach of contract.

The defendants are the League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC National Educational Service Centers, LULAC of South America Council No. 5269, LULAC of Cicero Council No. 5211, and three of the organizations' officers.

The family is represented by Antonio DeBlasio of Oak Brook, Ill.

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