NJ Steals Legal Defense Fund for Atilis Gym

Bellmawr, NJ – Atilis Gym, if you recall, has been fighitng the state of New Jersey for months. They had a legal defense fund of $173,613.60. They had it until the state of New Jersey literally stole it all, every penny, right out of their bank account. Co-owner Ian Smith appeared on both Tucker Carlson and Real America with Dan Ball on January 14 to explain what occurred.

Screenshot via Fox

The state claims it went to court and got an order to seize the funds to pay for the fines incurred. That total was only $134,463.08. What happened to the rest of their account is likely part of the state’s collection efforts.

“This information is not accurate. The State has not seized their bank account funds… However, the State has obtained judgments against the owners, and intends to collect on them. The total due and owing as a result of court-entered judgments to date is $134,463.08.”

The NJAG spokesman indicated that the $165,000 in reportedly frozen assets are the result of a bank levy having been issued due to Trenton’s collection efforts as part of the enforcement of a judicial order. He said the state previously obtained a judgment from the Court in the amount of $134,463.08, which the state intended to collect.

“Whether that affects the entire balance of the gym’s funds is a question to ask the bank,” the attorney general’s office said.

Fox – NJ state response to the accusation

In New Jersey speak, that sarcastic response by the NJAG office means they took the money to pay for the fines and got a court order to do so. Never mind that it was a legal defense fund so that the gym could handle the pending litigation. The owners stated that when they went to check their bank account, they found that every penny was missing. The State can call that “freezing” the assets all they want, but the fact that the gym owners have nothing left in their legal defense fund account is still the same.

What’s Atilis Gym’s Crime?

Atilis Gym has been in ongoing litigation with the state for months as we previously reported. Though gyms were finally able to open, according to the Governor’s edict, they were required to wear masks. The owners of the gym do not require their patrons to wear masks, hence the fines and citations they’ve received after gyms were allowed to open. But all of that has litigation pending – they have not been convicted, as all of the state’s actions against them are under appeal. Owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti were also arrested back in July for opening their gym in defiance of the Governor’s orders.

Murphy signed A4970 into law in January of 2020. The bill was to reform their civil forfeiture laws by requiring a criminal conviction prior to implementation of the seizing of property. Unfortunately, it only addressed small sums of money and property, and still allows the process of civil forfeiture to continue. This action is likely considered a “collection” rather than a civil forfeiture, but the result is still the same: Atilis Gym has had its legal defense fund stolen by the state of New Jersey. Does the state’s action violate Atilis Gym’s Constitutional right to legal defense? Nothing NJ has done in any way “protects” the people… but it certainly does destroy them.

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Featured photo: screenshot of Atilis Gym

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