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The Miss United States pageant held March 26, 2015 - March 29, 2015 at the Copernicus Center Illinois was directed by Derrick Lee of Team DQ Pageant Prep and Image Consulting. Derrick Lee held an online photogenic competition hosted on his pageant website www.missillinoisus.com. The competition was a fundraiser to raise money for Ann & Robert H. Lurie's Children's Foundation (https://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/about-us/Pages/our-foundation.aspx) The competition worked like this. Contestants would go out and get family and friends to donate one dollar with all proceeds going to the hospital. Online voting opened on March 2nd and concluded on March 28th. The winner would be announced at the Miss Illinois United States pageant on March 29th. The photogenic winners along with the new state queens were to deliver a large fake check to the hospital within one week of the pageant. Unfortunately that did not happen. Instead Mr. Derrick Lee kept the money.

Derrick Lee never signed a contract with the hospital to use their name or collect donations in their honor. The hospital contacted him several times. He never contacted them back to execute the proposal. Thousands of dollars were collected and one of the winners asked several times about going to the hospital to present the "Big Fake Check" to them and different reasons were given over and over. Derrick Lee had even told people that the voting website was linked direct to the hospital so he didn’t know how much money was raised. None of which was true. All donations were submitted to a PayPal account under the name Team DQ Pageant Prep and Image Consulting and the email on the account was derrick.illinoisus@gmail.com. Mr. Lee made it very clear in all of his public posts, messages and also conversations with contestants and staff that “all proceeds” or “every dollar” were supposed to go the hospital. Most of the posts even tagged Derrick or the Miss Illinois Organization page.

It was only after people started asking questions that Derrick Lee months after the competition ended went online and made a $100.00 donation on October 13, 2015. All proceeds do not mean Derrick can donate $100 of the thousands he collected. Proper authorities have been contacted.

This is just one scam Derrick Lee has pulled lately. Derrick Lee was never under contract for the Miss Nebraska or Miss Wisconsin Miss United States systems; however, he promoted himself and such and took entry fees from unsuspecting contestants wanting to compete without a signed executed contract from the Miss United States system for 2016. Just recently he attempted the classic bait and switch telling one such contestant that he was now the director with another system and she could compete there. Of course that entry fee was more expensive.

Another one was during the week of the national pageant. This was over the Fourth of July in Washington DC. Derrick Lee claimed the hotel screwed up his reservation and playing on the emotions of his contestants asking to sleep on their floors. He would rotate from one room to another. Come to find out Derrick Lee had a reservation and only cancelled once he got to Washington DC because he didn’t want to pay for it. Throughout the week he also put his food tabs on contestants’ bills.

Derrick also was not upfront with contestants as to the cost of the pageant. There were tons of hidden fees. They were not informed in advance about a required ad page that cost $79 and that each contestant was required to buy 10 tickets at $20 each. It wasn’t until after you paid him your non-refundable entry fee that he would hit you with additional costs.

Derrick was also not very nice to staff, contestants or royalty. He had the national *** queen travel to his pageant only to be told she could not take the stage. It wasn’t until a staff member put her on stage going over Derrick’s head that the NATIONAL queen was recognized. This is just one example of Derrick treating people unprofessionally and disrespectful.

Derrick Lee’s business Team DQ Pageant Prep and Imaging Consulting doesn’t even exist in the eyes of the state. He doesn’t have the proper credentials to be doing business here. No one seems to know where he came from; all we know is too many people in the Midwest have been defrauded by him. Derrick Lee as victimized several people, I am just one of many and this needs to stop.

Review about: Miss Illinois United States Pageant.

Review #732284 is a subjective opinion of a user.

PRODUCT OR SERVICE Not specified
Reason of Review / Monetary Loss He scammed people / Not specified
Preferred solution Derrick needs to donate the money he collected to the hospital and he needs to pay EVERYONE he owes money to.

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Anonymous
#1168444
Derrick Lee Investigation on CBS
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/05/05/2-investigators-pageant-organizer-accused-of-pocketing-charity-money/
1. "According to the hospital, they never gave Lee approval to use their name to solicit money. A year later, no one knows how much money he collected."
2. "Months after the pageant and after Kim Triani blew the whistle, Lee gave $100 to the charity."
3. Business isn't registered in the state of Illinois. Not to mention he was rude to the reporter.
4. "Lee also has been accused of owing money to past contestants." 5. "and $4,000 to a company that created a pageant video" 6. “I was a first year director,” Lee says. “I made some mistakes.” - so do all first year directors get passes to steal people's money? Confused here. What does that have to do with him not turning in All the money from the fundraiser to the hospital in a timely manner? 7. Screenshot of text message when contestant asks "how much money have we raised in total for the hospital." He responds "I haven't gotten the the current total. It's linked to the hospital account." So he needed to check with the hospital about the total they had received, but yet they hadn't received any money at that point. Again confused. 8. Note that one of the screenshots states "The winner of the Miss Photogenic will present the donation along with the new 2015 Queens ONE WEEK after the pageant, in-person at the hospital." Why did it take months to donate $100 on-line and
... Show more
Seen the light
to Anonymous Chicago, Illinois, United States #1174721
For someone that has been telling everyone he is innocent, he looked guilty as *** in the news cast. He evaded questions, was rude, and ran like a coward. Derrick Lee what did you do with the thousands of dollars you raised in the name of children?
Anonymous
#1145737
Derrick's America's Little Miss Illinois (national director Gloria Parnell) was also let go by the Miss United States organization for unethical behavior. Stay clear from anything having to do with this organization. Derrick steals from charity and he has announced Danielle Kaczanowski Miss Illinois Teen Miss American Coed as a judge. She is the contestant that lied about graduating early, and doing charity work for the Brookfield Zoo and Relay for Life (both organizations wrote letters stating she didn't volunteer for them). Unethical people like these are ruining pageantry! It is time for people to step up and speak out. This is NOT what pageantry is about.
Anonymous
Downers Grove, Illinois, United States #1064005
I hope the hospital gets their money.
So Done With Derrick Lee
Schaumburg, Illinois, United States #1063912
This was the worst pageant I have been involved in. Period. Enough said. Now moving on.
Anonymous
#1063471
All of this is absolutely true. As one of his state titleholders I was lied to, yelled at, gossiped about, emotionally abused, ignored, stolen from, used and the list goes on.
He made promise after promise yet never came through with them. He constantly blamed sponsors (the very small amount We even had) titleholders the national organization for his mistakes. He clearly favored certain titleholders of his over others, created unnecessary drama and hurt feelings.
I also advice anyone and everyone to stay very far away from him and his so called company.
Anonymous
to Anonymous #1063480
Pageantry is supposed to be about teaching these young contestants about integrity and how to be future leaders of tomorrow. Derrick Lee does not embody qualities I want taught to my daughter. Stealing, lying, bullying are not qualifications that a pageant director should manifest. From looking at his Facebook I thought he would be one of the best directors I came in contact with. In reality he was one of the worst.
Anonymous
to Anonymous #1063487
He should be served an injunction to stay out of this industry. Directors that are pulling off one *** after another don't belong in the pageant industry. Pageants are already stereotyped. With scandals like this who will donate to any legitimate titleholder?
Anonymous
to Anonymous #1063632
I witnessed his favoritism of certain queens over others. He would hold group coaching sessions or photo sessions and show up in a t-shirt that read Team *******. The stars being the name of one of his queens. He had no regard to the feelings of others or how this would impact his queens that were children. Every contestant/queen should be treated equal.
Anonymous
to Anonymous #1064751
He constantly promoted his IL queens on social media. Saying things like "(name) is EVERYTHING!!" But then completely disregarded his Iowa queens. He didn't get any sponsors for the Iowa girls and never even set foot in the state.

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