Fitness SF denies owing money to the web designer who replaced the company’s homepage with an angry letter last night.

German designer Frank Jonen turned off the website after Fitness SF failed to pay him for “half a year’s worth of work” for the chain of fitness centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to his letter.

The Fitness SF employee who answered the phone said that the site had been hacked.

“Frank Jonen was hired and paid to produce a website that he never made,” said Fitness SF director of operations Don Dickerson via email. ”He is not an agency. He lives in his parents’ attic in Germany. He is attempting to blackmail us and we will not cave to extortion demands.”

He said that the company has contacted the FBI for help.

Update: Frank Jonen could not be reached for comment. This post has been updated to clarify that it was a Fitness SF employee who said the website had been hacked.

3/9/13: Frank Jonen has settled with Fitness SF and gave SocialTimes the details in an exclusive interview.