AG's office sends cease and desist letter to Grand Rapids business for online storefront's alleged consumer protection violations

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Maya Smith knew from childhood that her purpose was to give back and make an impact – and saw the legal field as the way to effectuate change.
Clearly it was the right choice.

An alumna of WMU-Cooley Law School, Smith graduated magna cum laude last fall, with a cumulative 3.9 GPA, and was on the Dean’s List and the Honor Roll every term.

And after interning last summer with Butzel Long in Detroit, she now has a full time position with the firm. “My time with Butzel during the summer program was unconventional yet still impactful,” she says. “The program was supposed to be 10 weeks, but due to COVID, it was delayed and lasted six weeks. While I didn’t get the full experience, I was introduced to an amazing group of individuals that nurtured my growth and poured into my learning. I was exposed to various areas of law and participated in writing briefs, research memorandums, and facilitated negotiations.

Smith is particularly interested in copyright and trademark law.

“I believe in contributing to small business and entrepreneurship,” she says. “I’d like to help others protect their legal interest in intellectual property because I believe this will set the foundation for a successful business, which in return will promote economic growth and wealth.”

Smith earned an undergrad degree in political science from Spelman College in Atlanta. While an undergrad, she volunteered with Advocacy for Action (AFA)—an experience that led to employment with attorney and politician LaDawn Blackett Jones, where Smith worked as a case manager in the law firm’s criminal and family law division. She went on to become a legislative aide for Jones, at the Georgia State Capitol.

“I believe the work I did at the Georgia State Capitol was the most impactful of my internships,” she says.

“I researched the advancement of bills through the legislative process, spoke with various representatives to seek endorsement of proposed legislation and facilitated communication between representatives, state officials, agency personnel and others in the development of legislation.”

Smith then worked as a paralegal at Clark & Washington LLC, one of the largest bankruptcy firms in Georgia.

She headed back to her native Michigan in 2018, to attend WMU-Cooley Law School. “The study of law always intrigued me, not only because I desired to promote change but also because I enjoyed critical thinking,” she says. “The strong analytical and reasoning skills required to understand the law, offered a challenge I welcomed with open arms.”

She served as mentor/mentee chair for the Black Law Student Association and as solicitation editor of Law Review.

“BLSA was an organization that allowed for me to develop a community of similarly situated individuals who inspired and supported one another. The bond we all built was instrumental to my success,” she says. “Law Review was another special organization I was a part of. I learned a great deal in my position and attribute my ‘strong attention to detail’ skills to them.”

Smith has many goals for her road ahead.

“I aspire to do so much with my life and give back to my community as much as possible,” she says. “I’d love to see myself dominating the political sphere by holding office or becoming a political commentator. And I have dreams of becoming a judge, while also creating a nonprofit geared towards helping young people become politically and socially aware.”

Smith continues her work in Georgia, serving as director of operations for the nonprofit GRL-PWR; the Spelman GRL-PWR chapter focuses on uplifting and empowering middle school and elementary school aged girls in the West End Atlanta community through after-school programs, lunch mentorship, and on-campus events.

She also volunteers with her church and helps organize annual events such as Youth Roundup and Back to School Give Away.      

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office sent a cease and desist letter to a Grand Rapids-based online clothing retailer for allegedly failing to fulfill customer orders or provide requested refunds, among other violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).

The letter was sent to Fitness Tee Co. LLC, which operates its online storefront on at least two websites, the Fitness Tee Co. and the Fitness Tee Co. Outlet.

The Attorney General’s Office received multiple complaints about the business and its products, including that the quality of the apparel was not what consumers expected; customers were unable to contact anyone at the business to address their concerns or provide requested refunds; and orders were not being fulfilled in a timely manner.

The business owner blamed many of the issues on the COVID-19 pandemic and related operational cutbacks but admitted to accepting new orders even though others remained unfulfilled.

“My office will continue to enforce this state’s consumer protection laws to ensure hardworking Michiganders are not taken advantage of by negligent businesses that fail to uphold their end of the transaction,” Nessel said. “Companies that deceive, mislead or otherwise prey on unsuspecting customers may find that they have become targets of the Department of Attorney General, and I encourage all consumers who have a complaint about a business to file it with my office.”

The Attorney General’s Office may file a lawsuit or seek court subpoenas to open a formal investigation and gather more information about the company’s business operations. The state and business could also enter into an assurance of voluntary compliance, which is a tool provided for in the MCPA that allows the dispute to be settled outside of court.

Throughout National Consumer Protection Week and the entire month of March, consumers can follow along on the department’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for daily consumer protection information. 

Consumer complaints can be filed online at, or by calling 877-765-8388.