Published: Aug 31, 2010 7:58 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2010 4:54 PM EDT

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -  The Attorney General's civil complaint against Bonita Bay Group has been dismissed.  After reviewing briefs and  hearing oral arguments from both parties, Circuit Court Judge Michael T. McHugh dismissed the Attorney General's claims that the company committed fraud and engaged in deceptive conduct.

The Attorney General's Office initiated an investigation after being contacted by several members of the company's clubs who disagreed with Bonita Bay Group's interpretation of its club membership contracts.

"The Attorney General then sued, seeking to convert what at worst can be
described as a private contract dispute into a case of deception, and the court rightly rejected that misguided effort," said Bud Kirk, legal counsel for Bonita Bay Group.

"We are pleased that the Court dismissed the Attorney General's complaint," said Kirk. "Bonita Bay Group has refunded deposits for more than 20 years and continues to do so today. Quick action by Bonita Bay Group avoided bankruptcies that would have required closing the clubs and would have had a devastating impact on the local economy. By working diligently with the member-board  representatives, Bonita Bay Group was able to keep the clubs open and operating for members to enjoy their lifestyle and world-class amenities, and to ultimately sell four of the clubs to new clubs formed by their members with more than 90 percent membership approval. Today those members own their clubs outright and continue to enjoy the benefits associated with them."