The owners of a proposed Fort Dodge health club are in trouble for not exercising proper control over money taken from clients. Iowa Assistant Attorney General Ben Bellus says the case involved the proposed Central Avenue Gym.Bellus says the two owners took people’s money for membership, but didn’t put that money in an escrow account as required by law. Bellus says they also spent the money for their personal use. Bellus says judgements against owner Ritalee Shapiro and her daughter, Andrea Lewis, dissolved contracts signed for the gym and released those who signed up from any liability. Bellus says the judge also issued a five thousand dollar fine against the two.He says the two will not have to pay the fine if they help the state get back all the money. Bellus says Lewis will have to pay the state’s costs for prosecuting the case — over 68-hundred dollars. The judgement also requires the two women to disclose the involvement with any future companies. Bellus says this is a lesson for all Iowans to check the background of businesses before paying your money.
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