Attorney General Cuomo Obtains Restitution Order For Defrauded Members Of Long Island Health Club

MINEOLA, N.Y. (March 5, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a Hicksville health club and its owners have been banned from the business and ordered to pay full restitution to members who were defrauded after the club abruptly closed its doors and refused to refund prepaid membership dues.

The order from State Supreme Court in Mineola permanently bars Woman’s Domain health club, formerly located at 382 West Old Country Road, and its owners, Adele and Nicholas Nuzzo of Dix Hills, from operating a health club in the state. In addition, they will be prohibited from operating any type of consumer business in New York unless a $25,000 performance bond is posted. Woman’s Domain health club must make full restitution to all their health club members, plus pay penalties and costs to the state.

“Businesses have an obligation to their customers,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Health clubs in particular serve an important purpose, and to take advantage of a person’s desire to improve their well-being as a way to defraud them is an absolute disgrace. New York has laws in place to account for sudden closures of health clubs, and this company did not adhere to those laws. The owners of the company are now being held responsible for their actions.”

Woman’s Domain health club closed without warning in April 2007. However, the Nuzzos continued to solicit new members up to the day the health club closed – which happened to be the same day an eviction warrant was entered against the club for failing to pay rent.

According to court documents, Woman’s Domain health club claimed to have approximately 3,000 members when the club closed. The Nuzzos never notified these members that the club was about to close and then refused to refund prepaid membership dues. Woman’s Domain health club also violated New York State law by failing to file a bond with the state, which would have provided a pool of money for reimbursements to consumers when the health club shut down.

Consumers who did business with Woman’s Domain health club and believe they are owed a refund may contact the Attorney General’s Nassau Regional Office at 516-248-3302. New Yorkers with a consumer fraud issue may contact the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney Victoria L. Safran and Senior Investigator Paul Matthews under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge Valerie Singleton of the Nassau Office.