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AG Van Hollen Obtains Judgment Against Athletic Club of Madison and Its Owner, Mario Chmiel


MADISON - The Department of Justice has obtained a judgment in the amount of $74,042.50 against the Athletic Club of Madison and its owner, Mario Chmiel, of Wadsworth, Illinois, resolving a lawsuit filed by the state in September, 2009.  The judgment was entered by Dane county Circuit Court Judge Daniel Moeser. 


The state filed the enforcement action in Dane County Circuit Court alleging that the company committed numerous violations of Wisconsin's consumer protection laws regulating fitness centers.  The Athletic Club of Madison, which began operating at 625 North Segoe Road in Madison in late 2008, abruptly closed in July 2009.  Many club members who had prepaid membership or other fees received no refunds, as required by law; the state calculated that the amount of refunds owed is approximately $33,000.  Further, the club had failed to obtain a $25,000 security bond as required by state law, which would have been available to cover most of the refunds owed to members.   


The state negotiated a settlement with Mario Chmiel, the owner of the Athletic Club of Madison, and also obtained a default judgment against the Athletic Club of Madison.  The judgment requires payment of restitution to members of $32,915.00, and forfeitures and assessments in the amount of $38,127.50.  In addition, the defendants must reimburse the state $3,000.00 for its expenses in bringing the action. 


The case was investigated and referred to the Department of Justice by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General John S. Greene.