Md. AG continues health club crackdown

Bryan Cohen Aug. 15, 2011, 12:17pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced the filing of administrative charges on Friday against four Maryland health clubs and their respective owners for failing to register with his office.

The Health Club Registration Unit of Gansler's Consumer Protection Division alleges that the four health clubs failed to properly register for registration year 2010-2011 despite repeated notices from the division that they were required to do so.

The charges allege that Arm 1 LLC and owner Raphael Marcantoni IV, Dynamic Defense Inc. and owner William David Stoffregen II, Reducing Key Hypnosis Center of Glen Burnie Inc. and owner Samuel Baldwin, and Team Maryland BJJ Inc. and owner Nicholas R. Tissue are operating in violation of Maryland's Consumer Protection Act and Health Club law.

"We encourage consumers to check with us before joining a fitness club to ensure that it is properly registered," Gansler said. "These registration requirements are designed to protect consumers' money and their investment in their health and wellbeing."

The Health Club law requires that health clubs provide certain information to consumers such as a "Notice of Consumer Rights" on all health club contracts, which must disclose whether or not the club has posted a bond that would protect consumers' advance payments if it were to go out of business.

Gansler's CPD is seeking a cease-and-desist order prohibiting the health clubs from selling any services in Maryland until they comply with the registration requirements of the law. The division also seeks civil penalties and costs.

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