California Fitness

Customs arrest sole director of embattled JVFitness gym operator

Director of JVFitness, parent company of California Fitness gym chain, could face numerous charges in wake of closure.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 11:07pm

Customs officials yesterday arrested the director of gym operator JVFitness, which has been plagued by allegations of questionable sales practices .

Officials apprehended Wong Lun, owner of JVFitness, which operated California Fitness, ­mYoga and Leap, on suspicion of failing to provide services after having accepted payments from clients of its Hung Hom outlet.

The Post understood that Wong was taken into custody when he attended an interview at the Customs and Excise Department’s North Point headquarters.

Hong Kong judge questions whether liquidation of California Fitness being sought to pass on responsibilities to others

Customs officials initiated investigations into the July 4 closure of JVFitness’ Hung Hom outlet after receiving a number of complaints from clients.

Wong was the third person to be arrested in connection with the sudden closure of the California Fitness gym in Hung Hom. The company secretary and the firm’s vice president were both taken into custody on July 11.

Sources with knowledge of the case said Wong’s activities violated the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, which carries a maximum penalty of a HK$500,000 fine and up to five years jail.

Branches of struggling California Fitness shut down across Hong Kong

“Under the ordinance, a trader commits an offence if, at the time of accepting payment, the trader intends not to supply the product or intends to supply a materially different product, or there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the trader will be able to supply the product within a specified or reasonable period,” one source said.

Sources warned that three suspects could face additional charges if further investigations revealed they were also linked to the closure of the gym chain’s ­other 11 outlets.

“It is possible further arrests will be made,” the source said.

Sweating it out: Hong Kong California Fitness members can only wait and hope

All three suspects in the Hung Hom outlet case have since been released on bail pending further investigation.

Following months of speculation and revelations that JVFitness had accumulated millions of dollars of debt, the company on July 12 confirmed the closure of all 12 fitness outlets across Hong Kong.