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Post date: November 4 2002

Refunds To Be Given To Members Of Defunct Health Club

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a court-approved settlement providing refunds to dozens of consumers of a defunct Central New York health club.

Be Your Best Fitness Center of Baldwinsville operated by Fit For Life, LLC, and its owner, Jason Frankoff, were cited by Spitzer's office for false advertising and failure to post a performance bond. Be Your Best Fitness Center and Frankoff were ordered to pay $9,000 in refunds to at least 46 consumers.

According to legal papers, although the fitness center was given an eviction notice by its landlord due to failure to pay rent, the health club continued to accept membership fees up until only a few days prior to its closing. Before it closed, the health club had more than 120 members, many of whom pre-paid for services and are owed between $75 and $660 each.

The settlement bans Frankoff from operating a health club unless he posts a $25,000 performance bond and orders him to pay $1,000 in civil penalties and court costs. Frankoff will pay restitution on a pro-rata basis, including refunds to additional consumers who file complaints with the Attorney General's office by the beginning of February 2003.

In the past four years, the Attorney General's office has intervened on behalf of consumers in five other cases when health club facilities have abruptly closed leaving customers without the services for which they'd paid. In those cases, the office successfully recovered approximately $113,000 for nearly 1,800 consumers across the state.

Individuals wishing to file a complaint are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin of the Syracuse Regional Office under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General In Charge Winthrop H. Thurlow.