Attorney General Gansler
Charges Hagerstown Karate School
MD ( September 30, 2009) - Maryland Attorney General
Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection
Division has filed administrative charges against Allstar Kicks,
Inc., located at 13102A Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown and
its owners, Michael Bolding and Julie Bolding. The business
and its owners are charged with failure to renew registration
and post security with the Division under Maryland’s
Health Club law. Despite the company’s lack of registration
and bonding, Allstar Kicks sold health club memberships and
collected more than three months’ advance payment from
consumers. In addition, the Division alleges that the business
has attempted to collect debts not owed in violation of Maryland’s
Consumer Debt Collection Act.
A public hearing on charges will be held at the Office of Administrative
Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, in Hunt Valley, on December 4, 2009,
at 10:00 a.m.
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 members or charge an initiation fee
of more than $200.00.
“It is especially important in the current economic climate
for consumers to check that their health clubs are properly registered
and bonded before they join,” said Attorney General Gansler. “If
not careful, consumers may lose their hard-earned money if their
health club goes out of business.”
The charges seek an order requiring the business and its owners
to cease and desist from selling health club services in Maryland
unless they have complied with the registration and bonding requirements
and to return all payments collected in violation of the Consumer
Protection Act and Health Club law. The Division is also seeking
payment of civil penalties and costs.
Attorney General Gansler urges consumers to visit the Attorney
General’s website at www.oag.state.md.us/healthclub/ or call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6350 before
they join a health club, weight loss center or self-defense school
to ensure it is properly registered and bonded. The website also
contains tips for consumers considering joining health clubs, weight
loss centers or karate schools.