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Club Raided by Federal Agents Reopens

KINGSTON, PA -- Federal agents raided Maximum Fitness and Health Club in Kingston, PA, on Thursday morning and seized several pieces of equipment and weights, the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times Leader reports.

One club member told the newspaper that about 15 agents from the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service arrived at the club with a search warrant at around 9 a.m. The agents shut down the club and ordered everyone to leave.

The club reopened at 5 a.m. today. An employee of the club said the pieces of equipment that were taken were some bikes, treadmills and step machines. Some of the treadmills that were removed were expected to be returned later today, she said.

The club is owned by Sal Peperno and a partner, Joe DiGregorio, the newspaper reports. Federal authorities also searched Peperno’s home. Authorities could not comment on why the searches were executed because they involve an ongoing investigation.

According to the Times Leader, Peperno’s husband, Frank, is the cousin of James Peperno Jr., who was indicted in April 2006 on charges he bilked more than $200,000 from two people who gave him money to invest through his consulting company. According to the indictment, Frank Peperno invested money for some of the people James Peperno was accused of scamming in 2005. The indictment does not accuse Frank Peperno of committing any crime, and he has not been charged in connection with that case, the newspaper reports.

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