Los Angeles County has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle the $100-million civil suit by a former Westwood health club operator who alleged that prosecutors wrongly seized and kept his business records.
David A. Cirotto, once president of Nautilus and Aerobics Centers with clubs in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, sued over the removal of accounting ledgers and other records by the district attorney's office in 1983 as part of an investigation of suspected fraud by health club operators.
Prosecutors had been checking into complaints that Cirotto defrauded clients of $350,000 by advertising facilities as full-service health clubs when they were under-equipped or nonexistent. No criminal charges were ever filed.
Cirotto, 42, claimed in his lawsuit that because of the district attorney's actions, he lost income and business opportunities, was forced to sell portions of his business at distress prices and was impeded in developing more clubs.