AG: 26 complaints filed against embattled dance studio

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is moving forward with its investigation against a Warwick dance studio, claiming the owner has violated the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The doors of Triple Threat Dance Studio in Warwick remain locked tight Tuesday. Inside – the floors and walls are stripped of any signs that it was once a thriving dance studio.

Jill St. Germain and Dayna Page are two of 26 dance moms who filed complaints with the office of the attorney general, claiming they paid for dance competitions that the owner never signed up for.

“At this point I’m very frustrated. We’ve had no contact with Marlaina or anyone at Triple Threat,” said St. Germain. “I’m out about $1,200.”

On July 1 the AG’s office filed a complaint in Superior Court against Triple Threat Performing Arts Studio and its owner, Marlaina Rapoza. She had 20 days to respond, but the AG’s office said she never did.

The office moved ahead and filed a notice of default with the courts. In a statement, the AG’s office said they have “taken the next step, which is preparing affidavits based on consumer complaints, and will be contacting each consumer. The office will seek a motion with the court for a judgement on those claims.”

If Rapoza continues to ignore the court, it could order a judgement for a specific dollar amount to settle the consumer complaints.

“She had an opportunity to make this good, and she did not,” Page added. “I’m hoping she’ll acknowledge and can pay us back.”

According to the AG’s office, under the law Rapoza has one year to vacate the default that was entered and can engage in the process to avoid going to trial.

Call 12 for Action has tried contacting Rapoza by phone and left a message, but we’ve not yet received a call back. The AG’s office said they have not been contacted by an attorney for her either.

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