Whitney Brakken Mar. 27, 2014, 2:20pm

Two Illinois companies and a Chicago resident are being sued for allegedly stealing nearly half a million dollars.

Lucy Gray filed a lawsuit March 12 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Shawn D. Baldwin, AIA Research LLC and CMG Research & Trading LLC, citing conversion, fraud and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The complaint states Gray made a $450,000 investment on Dec. 17, 2012 with Baldwin at AIA Research via a subscription agreement, which stated Gray was permitted to retrieve her investment after one year.

Gray claims that Baldwin told her the investment was secure and appreciating multiple times after her initial investment, but that she became suspicious of him around September 2013 over late and inaccurate financial reports, inconsistent explanations and his general demeanor.

The suit states that according to the terms of the agreement, Gray requested her funds be released by Jan. 19, 2014. Gray alleges that Baldwin told her on Feb. 5, 2014 that he wired her $560,000, but she never received any funds.

The complaint states that as of the filing of her March 12 lawsuit, Baldwin has not returned Gray's investment. She contends Baldwin never intended to return her money and used the plaintiff's investment for his personal use.

Gray is seeking at least $450,000 in damages, plus punitive damages. She is being represented in the case by William C. O'Neil and Jeffrey J. Huelskamp of Winston & Strawn LLP.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L003000.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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