June 8, 2006
GENERAL’S OFFICE FILES
CHARGES AGAINST FIVE
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.
announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed
five self-defense schools for failing to renew their registration
with the Division under Maryland’s Health Club law.
Arnold Mitchell’s Karate Academy, Inc. of
Baltimore, Bethesda Martial Arts, Inc. of Bethesda, Dawson Enterprises,
Inc. of Columbia,
Mayeday Enterprises, Inc. of Potomac and Waldorf Tae Kwon Do Academy,
Inc. of Waldorf received renewal notifications from the Division,
but did not respond by the deadline date of September 1, 2005,
the beginning of the registration year.
Under Maryland law, health clubs, self-defense schools, and weight
loss centers 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 of payment in advance from members or charge a initiation
fee of more than $200.00.
The Division’s charges against each school
state that a cease and desist order be issued until the registration
have been met. It requires that each school register with the Division
and pay all fees due. The charges also state that the schools must
pay restitution for payments made by consumers during the time
they were not registered. Each school is ordered to pay the Division
civil penalties as well.
“Enforcement of the registration and bonding requirements
helps protect consumers in the event that the club should go out
of business before a consumer’s membership expires,” said
urges consumers to visit the Attorney General’s
website at www.oag.state.md.us/Healthclub/consumer or
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. The website also contains tips for consumers
considering joining health clubs, weight loss centers or self-defense
A public hearing regarding the charges will be held July 25, 2006
at 10:00 a.m. in the offices of the Consumer Protection Division,
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore.