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For Immediate Release
September 1, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE FILES CHARGES AGAINST SIX HEALTH CLUBS AND SELF-DEFENSE SCHOOLS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed charges against six health clubs and karate schools for failing to register with the Division under Maryland's Health Club law. The businesses are:

1. JTJ, LLC t/a JTJ Martial Arts - Cumberland
2. KC Fitness, Inc. t/a Premier Health & Fitness Center - Odenton
3. Phoenix Karate Frederick, LLC t/a Phoenix Karate Frederick - Frederick
4. Sugar’s Gym, Inc. t/a Sugar’s Gym - Baltimore
5. USA Fitness, Inc. t/a USA Fitness Center - Temple Hills
6. Victory Martial Arts, Inc. t/a Victory Martial Arts - Elkridge

Under Maryland law, health clubs are required to register annually with the Consumer Protection Division. The law also requires facilities to post a bond or other security with the Division if they collect more than three months' payment in advance from members or charge an initiation fee of more than $200.

These laws protect consumers in the event the club should go out of business before a consumer's membership expires,” said Curran.

Curran urges consumers to visit the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/Healthclub/consumer or call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6350 before they join a health club, weight loss center or karate school to see if it is properly registered and bonded. The website also contains tips for consumers considering joining health clubs, weight loss centers or karate schools.

A public hearing on the charges will be held at the Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, in Baltimore, on September 28, 2004, at 10:00 a.m.

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