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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 The competition was a fundraiser to raise money for Ann & Robert H. Lurie's Children's Foundation ( 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 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.

Reason of review: He scammed people.

Preferred solution: Derrick needs to donate the money he collected to the hospital and he needs to pay EVERYONE he owes money to..

  • Miss Illinois United States
  • Charity Fraud
  • DQ Productions
  • Team DQ
  • America s Little Miss
  • americas little miss
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I'm not going to say the person's name, but I have information that suggests that this person is still doing fradulent activities and needs to be investigated again. The person just keeps taking over different pageants and modifying the tricks just a little, but nevertheless, is still likely embezzling, etc.


Derrick Lee Investigation on CBS

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.


"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 why weren't the queens involved in making that donation?

9. In the Email screenshot from Derrick Lee to the Hospital he tells Nicole Loughran "The week after the pageant, which is scheduled for March 29th, the winner will present a check to you from the Organization." He goes on to state "it will be proceeds from the fundraiser of the pageant." Doesn't sound like he donated all the money from the fundraiser.

10. ****Never would answer what happened to the money.**** My top 10 reasons not to get involved with Derrick Lee or Team DQ.

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?


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.

Downers Grove, Illinois, United States #1064005

I hope the hospital gets their money.

Schaumburg, Illinois, United States #1063912

This was the worst pageant I have been involved in. Period.

Enough said. Now moving on.


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.

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.

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?

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.

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.



to Anonymous #1063389

Well said


I have heard that Derrick is now calling his company DQ Productions and/or DQ Image & Prep Studio. New companies same old tricks.

to Anonymous #1335967

The name keeps changing, so unsuspecting people keep entering and being ripped off. Sometimes, it's billed as Scepter Enterprises.

to Anonymous Huntington, Indiana, United States #1336035

Please report this to the states attorney. Derrick lee must be stopped.


Derrick Lee (Team DQ Pageant Prep and Image Consulting) just announced he will be working with Carrera Company as a talent manager (I assume some of those clients will be children). Derrick also announced he is working with America's Little Miss (children 6-12).

I will never understand why anyone would hire an individual to work with children or their company who stole from a CHILDREN'S charity. In my opinion Derrick Lees own actions show he cares very little about children and shouldn't be working with them.

to Anonymous Villa Park, Illinois, United States #1064278

Having spent thousands of dollars to have my daughter be lied to and disrespected for months I am appalled at any company or person that would do business with Derrick Lee or Team DQ if they are equipped with the knowledge that he stole money from Ann & Robert H. Lurie's Hospital.

Anyone who is aware of Derrick's deceitful methods but does business with him should be admitted. I will boycott Carrera Co., America's Little Miss, Eva Fils Photography, Yadira Amador Hair and Makeup and anyone else that would do business with such an unethical person. I will also tell other people not to do business with them. He stole not only from the hospital but from the public.

To do business with Derrick Lee or his business DQ Prep and Image Consulting in my opinion makes you just as guilty as him.

I understand business, but at some point you have to take a stand against corruption. Or as the saying goes you lie down with dogs you will get fleas.

to Anonymous #1078643

Hello Anonymous, people that do not post with their real name have 0 credibility.

Who ever you are, Did you request an accounting forensic audit? No.

Do you understand the terms of his agreement with Ann & Robert H.

Lurie's Hospital ? No.

If you expect 100% of the donation to go to a cause then Donate directly. Jegie Carrera with Carrera Co. just spent over $100 on food for the homeless Dec.


Previously Jegie Carrera with Carrera Co. donated directly to the Lawson House 3 times in 2015.

to Anonymous Addison, Illinois, United States #1086149

This is far from what I expected from people who are involved in pageants and charity work. Shame on you.

~ Carrera Co

Think these arguments over;

1. "Photogenic Contest" should be won based of who is the most photogenic contestant, not based of how much money was donated by a contestant to a Charity. This CONTEST IS NOT VALID.

2. The friends and family of the contestants donated knowing that it is to help their "contestant" WIN, not just to help the children in the hospital --they tried to kill two birds with one stone.

i personally do not consider this Charitable, I Think this is contest period, whoever comes up with more donation wins "Miss Photogenic"

3. If you want your donation to go 100% to the people/charity of your choice, write a check to the charity, volunteer, be the direct giver - LIKE WE DO At Carrera co. (My door and accounting record is open for review by request at

4. Derrick Lee's issues with you, your people, your business, with other charities, with other contestants of any pageant systems he has worked with---IS NOT MY ISSUES WITH DERRICK LEE.

If i have issues with you, with other businesses, with other charities, with my models, my pageant contestants, with my staff--I won't be talking about it here in this website. 5. Whoever wishes to boycott or wants my business to tank because of your issues--you better pray i don't find out what business you own or run, because I don't give mercy to people who intentionally hurt a business/company I and my team put our heart, passion, time and soul to build. I have a moral obligation to protect my company and people who depends on it financially.

That being said, you people need to grow up and move forward. I have never been exposed to such nastiness, irresponsibilities, time wasting, slandering and over all lack of immaturity.

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