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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Shanetta J. Paskel, 410-576-7939
spaskel@oag.state.md.us

Office of the Attorney General Files Charges Against Eleven Health Clubs

Baltimore, MD (September 5, 2008) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed administrative charges against eleven health clubs for failing to renew their registration with the Division under Maryland’s Health Club law. The businesses and their locations are:

• AAA Karate of Silver Spring (Silver Spring)
• Charles Brown t/a Frederick Academy of Self Defense (Frederick)
• CMT Business Works, Inc. t/a Curves of Glen Burnie (Brooklyn Park)
• Contours Express of Bryans Road (Accokeek)
• JYI Marital Arts, LLC (Arnold)
• JG Fitness Inc. t/a Contours Express of Hagerstown (Hagerstown)
• Kelmar, Inc. t/a Curves - La Plata (La Plata)
• King Tiger Martial Arts, Inc. (Silver Spring)
• Panther Academy of Martial Arts, Inc. (Ocean Pines)
• PMM, LLC t/a Self Defense America (Centreville)
• Shannon Moore t/a The Wing Chun Gung Fu School of Columbia (Columbia)

Each business is charged with selling health club services from 2007 to 2008 without properly registering with the Consumer Protection Division. The charges seek an order requiring the businesses to cease and desist from selling health club services in Maryland, unless they comply with the registration requirement, and to pay civil penalties and costs.

A public hearing of the charges will be held on September 24, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, located at 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley.

Under Maryland law, health clubs, self-defense schools, and weight loss centers are required to register prior to selling health club services. 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 consumers or charge an initiation fee of more than $200.00.

“The registration and bonding requirement helps to protects consumers’ financial health in the event that the club goes out of business,” said Attorney General Gansler.

Prior to joining a health club, self-defense school, or weight loss center, consumers should check whether the business is registered by calling the Division at 410-576-6350 or by visiting OAG’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/Healthclub/consumer.htm. The website also contains useful tips for consumers considering becoming a member of a facility.

   

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