Illinois AG takes on closed World Gyms in Chicago suburbs

Lawsuit alleges three World Gym franchises billed members for months after shutting down

May 31, 2012

(Flickr/Downtown DHS)

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking on three now-closed World Gyms in Chicago's suburbs.

Madigan's office has filed a lawsuit that alleges the gyms charged customers at least $100,000 in membership fees after the fitness centers had closed.

Natalie Bauer, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's office, said they received more than 10 complaints from customers who couldn't cancel their memberships.

"They received no response to their request to cancel the contract. They were being given false contact information to cancel -- they were given a bad phone number or the wrong person to talk to," she said.

Bauer said 150 other members say they were referred to a payment processing company after refusing to pay World Gym. The three gyms were located in Plainfield, Elgin and Norridge. The lawsuit names owners James Mecha and Diane Vassolo, World Gym-Willowbrook, Inc., and ASF International, the Colorado corporation that processed the payments.