April 10, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
KARATE SCHOOL ORDERED TO COMPLY WITH LAW PROTECTING CUSTOMERS' PAYMENTS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division ordered the self-defense school Kenpo Academy,
Inc., trading as Joe Palanzo's Kenpo Karate at 10534 York Road,
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030, and its owner, James Walsh, to stop
taking payments from consumers and to cease signing up new members.
In addition, the business has been ordered to post a security with
the Division to protect advance payment by consumers.
Division found that Kenpo Academy and James Walsh have failed to
register with the Division under Maryland's health club law and
that they have failed to post a surety bond or other security with
the Division while taking advance payments from consumers. Under
Maryland law, health clubs are required to register annually with
the Consumer Protection Division, and post a bond or other security
with the Division if they collect more than three months' payment
in advance from members or an initiation fee greater than $200.
schools, like health clubs and weight-loss centers, must comply
with the law protecting customers' advance payments," Curran
of the Joe Palanzo's Kenpo Karate at 10534 York Road, Cockeysville,
who make payments on a regular basis should know that although the
facility is still open, it cannot take any payments from customers
at the present. Customers who paid money in advance should know
that the business has been ordered to post security or make refunds
to consumers within 10 days of the Division's order. Customers may
call the Division at 410-576-6350 with questions.
urges consumers to call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6350
before they join a health club, weight loss center or self-defense
school to see if it is properly registered and bonded. Consumers
can also get consumer advice about memberships in health clubs,
weight loss centers or self-defense schools on the Attorney General's
Web site at www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip69.htm.