DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Denver District Court judge has ordered a defunct Aurora-based business, Ultimate Martial Arts, and its owner, Patrick Chandler, to pay a total of $69,500 in civil penalties to the state for engaging in deceptive trade practices and violating the state’s consumer protection statutes.
According to the complaint, filed in January 2010, Chandler and Ultimate Martial Arts misled consumers about the actual cost of its training programs by using a small initial fee. When the contract automatically rolled over, however, consumers were liable for substantially higher fees. For example, under Ultimate Martial Arts’ “black belt program,” the fees increased to a required 36 monthly installments of $239. Even after the company went out of business in December 2008, it continued to collect these and other fees from its former customers. The contracts Ultimate Martial Arts used violated provisions in both the Colorado Consumer Protection Act as well as the Uniform Consumer Credit Code.
Denver District Court Judge Michael Martinez ordered Chandler and Ultimate Martial Arts to pay the civil penalties after Chandler and his company failed to respond to the Office of the Attorney General’s lawsuit. The judge’s order also bars Chandler from collecting on his past contracts where they violated Colorado law.