COLUMBUS -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against a youth baseball tournament company accused of taking deposits for tournaments that never occurred and failing to return consumers' money.
The lawsuit accuses Travel Ball America, doing business as Travel Baseball America, and its owner, Kenneth Halloy of New Albany, of violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act.
Travel Ball America advertised a "Buckeye Baseball Blockbuster" where youth baseball teams could participate in a week-long summer baseball tournament in Sandusky. Consumers said they paid deposits of about $2,000 to $5,000 per team to participate in the summer 2014 tournament, but the business canceled the tournament and failed to provide refunds to consumers, according to the lawsuit.
The business is currently advertising tournaments on its website scheduled for June and July 2015, but the owner has indicated to the Ohio Attorney General's Office that no tournaments will occur in 2015. Some teams also have registered for the 2015 tournaments. Travel Ball America has accepted deposits for these tournaments, and consumers have not been able to obtain refunds.
"When companies violate Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act by taking consumers' money without providing the promised services or providing a refund, we will take action," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "It is especially disappointing when adults allegedly break the law by ripping off youth sports teams."
To date, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has received four complaints against the business, but additional baseball teams or individuals may be affected.
The Attorney General's lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, accuses Travel Ball America, doing business as Travel Baseball America, and Kenneth Halloy of failure to deliver, a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks a declaration that the business's actions violate state law, an injunction to stop further violations, restitution for consumers, and civil penalties.
Attorney General DeWine encourages consumers to research a company before making any payments. Consumers can search for complaint information online, including on the Ohio Attorney General's website. They also can ask the business to provide references and contact past customers to ask about their experiences with the business.
Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.
A copy of the Travel Ball America lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General's website.