For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Todd Dvorak
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 2, 2014

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Body Renew Fitness & Tanning

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has filed a lawsuit against a Treasure Valley fitness company and its owner accused of failing to reimburse customers after the company shut down earlier this year.

The consumer protection lawsuit was filed today against Body Renew Fitness & Tanning and its owner, Dakota Routh. The lawsuit is based on 54 consumer complaints filed with the Attorney General's Office against the company, which operated six fitness and tanning centers across the Treasure Valley.

All six gyms were shuttered on July 9, 2014. The complaint alleges that before Routh closed the gyms, he charged consumers for membership, training, tanning and other fees. In an e-mail to members, Routh promised refunds to members who were charged a maintenance fee after July 1, but consumers reported the company failed to follow through on the refunds.

"Too often my office receives complaints about a business that sells thousands of dollars of future services up until the date of its sudden closure, leaving consumers without their money or purchased services," Wasden said. "This type of business practice is not lawful. There is a right and a wrong way to go about business in this state, and Mr. Routh chose the wrong path."

Complaints documented to date estimate consumer losses at nearly $9,000, but that total could increase if more harmed consumers file complaints.

The lawsuit, filed in Ada County District Court, also alleges that Routh tried to collect unsubstantiated debts from consumers. Routh authorized the company to mail debt collection notices that falsely informed consumers a "small claims" was pending, according to the lawsuit. The notice stated the consumer's account would be turned over to "Ada County Small Claims" and would incur $500 in fees.

Idaho's Consumer Protection Act prohibits deceptive or unconscionable debt collection practices.

"The evidence provided to my office establishes that Body Renew Fitness & Tanning engaged in a pattern of misrepresenting the amount of a consumer's debt, as well as the process by which a debt may be lawfully collected," Wasden said.

The company operated three gyms in Boise and one in Meridian, Star and Garden City.

Consumers who believe they lost money to Body Renew Fitness & Tanning should complete a consumer complaint form and send it, along with documentation of the loss, to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. Complaint forms are available online at the Attorney General's website.

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