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For Immediate Release
May 2, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE REACHES AGREEMENT WITH COCKEYSVILLE SELF-DEFENSE SCHOOL

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a Consent Order requiring self-defense school Kenpo Academy, Inc., trading as Joe Palanzo’s Kenpo Karate at 10534 York Road in Cockeysville, and its owner, James Walsh, to pay penalties, costs and registration fees of $1,250, post security with the Division to protect advance payments from consumers, and register annually with the Division as required by Maryland’s Health Club Services Law.

The Order resolves allegations made by Curran’s office that Kenpo Academy and James Walsh failed to register with the Division under the Health Club Services Law and failed to post a surety bond or other security with the Division while taking advance payments from consumers. The Consent Order replaces a previous Order issued by the Division and allows the Cockeysville facility to once again take payments from customers and sign up new members.

"This settlement will ensure that consumers’ advance payments are protected should this facility close," Curran said. Curran said that the Health Club Services Law requires health clubs, self-defense schools, and weight loss centers to register with the Consumer Protection Division and, if the business collects more than three months’ advance payment or charges an initiation fee that exceeds $200, post security to protect consumers’ payments.

Curran urged 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.

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