Wong Lun, the director of J.V. Fitness, which owns California Fitness, has been released on bail after being arrested by the Customs and Excise Department for suspected violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance on Thursday.

The Customs Department received complaints from residents who purchased memberships and course packages from California Fitness but did not receive the promised services.

California Fitness Wan Chai
California Fitness in Wan Chai. File Photo: Wikicommons.

According to Hong Kong law, the defendant could be fined up to HK$500,000 and receive up to five years in prison if found guilty of violating the ordinance. Two senior executives were also arrested on June 11 after being suspected of violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

The parent company of the gym chain, J.V. Fitness, is currently facing a winding up order sought by former member of its board PK Wong, or Wong Ping-kuen. Wong said at a press conference that he was a victim who was deceived into buying the troubled firm and that documents were withheld from him as he signed the deal.

california fitness pk wong
PK Wong and California Fitness. screencap and Stand News.

He also said that he sold his shares to his brother Wong Lun in hopes that his brother would be able to sell off the company.

All 12 branches of fitness centres run by J.V. Fitness under the brands California Fitness, mYoga, and LEAP have suspended operation. Liquidators have taken over their Facebook pages to release information to staff and members, including a notice to pick up their belongings.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.