(CBS) – A North Side dance studio, catering to young dancers, suddenly closes. Its owner is out of sight. Families’ money is out of reach.
Fueling the anger of parents are social media posts suggesting the owner may be enjoying herself in spite of the shutdown.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov explains.
Little Leah loved her dance classes at Baby Take a Bow studio in Roscoe Village. But those lessons came to an abrupt halt last week, when her mom, Juline Planthaber, and other families got an email from owner Kristen Ramirez. It said the studio was closing – for good.
“No warning signs,” Planthaber says. “Completely out of the blue.”
Gone were recital hopes for Leah and dozens of young dancers — along with thousands of dollars families paid up front for classes through may.
The studio’s shuttering sparked a social media tirade from angry parents, who spotted Facebook posts by Ramirez about her trip to Las Vegas.
Planthaber also emailed Ramirez, asking for her $200 back. Ramirez told her she’d get some of it, then began referring all families to a bankruptcy lawyer.
That lawyer says she plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the week.
Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago, says there’s usually no warning signs a business might be closing. But one hint might be if a business is suddenly refusing to accept credit cards.
If owners know they’re going under and take money, anyway, that’s a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.