DENVER (Legal Newsline) - A defunct martial arts business has been ordered by a Denver District Court to pay $69,500 in civil penalties for engaging in deceptive trade practices, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Tuesday.
Ultimate Martial Arts and Patrick Chandler, its owner, are alleged to have misled consumers about the actual cost of training programs offered by the business by offering a small initial fee. When the training center's contract rolled over automatically, consumers were liable for substantially higher fees.
Under Ultimate Martial Arts' "black belt program," the fees increase to a required 36 monthly installments of $239.
After the company went out of business in Dec. 2008, training fees and other fees were still collected from its former customers.
Suthers alleged that Ultimate Martial Arts' contracts violated provisions in both the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Consumer Credit Code.
Chandler and Ultimate Martial Arts were ordered by Denver District Court Judge Michael Martinez to pay the $69,500 in civil penalties after Chandler and Ultimate Martial Arts filed to respond to Suthers' lawsuit. Chandler is also barred by the judge's order from collecting on his past contracts that violated Colorado law.