Summer Camp Closed, Assets Frozen

Florida Attorney General
Florida Attorney General
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Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release

Summer Camp Closed, Assets Frozen

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.––Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a court action against a summer camp company and its owners for suddenly canceling camp and leaving some parents without refunds. The Second Judicial Circuit Court granted the Attorney General’s motion for temporary injunction prohibiting defendants Camp Indian Springs, LLC, Camp Warrior, LLC, Costa Vathis, and Derek Hart from taking further deposits. The court also granted the Attorney General’s request to freeze the defendants’ assets.

“Summer camp is an exciting tradition for many Florida children, and it is so unfair that these kids may be deprived of camp because of the actions of these defendants. Many of these campers are now scrambling to make alternative plans and some parents are still without refunds after the defendants closed the camp,” said Attorney General Bondi. “My office is pursuing refunds and legal action to keep the defendants from deceiving any other campers.”

The Attorney General’s complaint alleges that Derek Hart owned and operated Camp Warrior, a so-called established sleep-away summer camp. Hart falsely claimed to be in business for more than 40 years, when, in reality, he had only owned the camp since 2016 and did not have the proper permitting to operate. Neither Jefferson County, nor the Florida Department of Health, had approved the necessary licenses for the camp to operate. Additionally, DOH informed Hart numerous times that issues with the septic system and other items needed to be corrected before the camp could begin operating again. Despite numerous warnings from DOH, Hart still hosted the camp in June of 2018.

The defendants abruptly canceled the camp after DOH received information indicating Hart was operating the camp without permitting, leaving parents and children confused about further plans for the summer and the status of payments made, some as high as $4,600.

The complaint alleges violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and seeks permanent injunctive relief, full restitution, and civil penalties and fees.

To view the complaint, click here.