Consumers to receive refunds in Camp Warrior shutdown

Camp Warrior representatives appear in court
Consumers receive refunds in Camp Warrior shutdown
Consumers receive refunds in Camp Warrior shutdown
Posted at 2:55 AM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 22:04:22-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The State Attorney General's Office announced refunds for parents of campers who planned to attend a now-shuttered summer camp in Jefferson County.

The refunds are coming after the prosecutor's office won a consent judgment against Camp Warrior, Camp Indian Springs and owner Derek Hart.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said Wednesday the camp is permanently closed.

The investigation, started under then-Attorney General Pam Bondi, found that the defendants accepted deposits from consumers before closing in June 2018 and failed to provide consumers with refunds. The court order provides full restitution for all affected consumers who requested a refund.

The investigation found Camp Warrior failed to obtain the necessary operating permits to operate a summer camp in Jefferson County.

A few days after opening, officials from the Jefferson County Department of Health closed the camp for health and safety reasons. That left parents scrambling to find alternative placements for their children.

Parents paid amounts ranging between $650 to $900 per child for each week of the Camp Warrior program. Camp Warrior did not directly provide any refunds, though some consumers received money back through credit card companies.

The judgment rules that Hart and the companies be barred from controlling a residential or day camp or the bank accounts of any residential or day camp. In addition, the defendants are prohibited from accepting payments for services or products in advance of providing the product or service for 10 years.

Camp Warrior representatives appear in court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The owners of Camp Warrior, a local summer camp, accused by the state of deceptive and unfair trade practices, were in court Friday for a civil case motion hearing.  

After two hours of private negotiations between the defense and prosecution, a Leon County judge ruled to unfreeze two of the accounts previously frozen, of Derek Hart and Costa Vathis.

The accounts reportedly held a couple hundred dollars, leaving the judge to open them back up for personal use.

The account in the name of the camp remains frozen, but the defense argued it will keep parents from receiving their refunds.

The judge says if he sees substantial reason that the frozen account is halting refunds, he'll meet with the attorneys again.

No later dates have been set.

Owners of summer camp to appear in court Friday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - On Friday the owners of Camp Warrior summer camp are expected to appear in civil court in Leon County.

The State Attorney General's Office is suing Camp Warrior, Camp Indian Springs, Derek Hart and Costa Vathis for deceptive and unfair trade practices.

Their appearance is for an evidentiary hearing on a temporary injunction.

Court is expected to begin at 9 a.m.