MONTGOMERY, Ohio -- The incarceration of the Art of Ballroom Dance Center's owner has left paying clients empty-handed.
About the same time her studio's doors closed two weeks ago, Eleanor Lachman pled guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). She was arrested after leaving the Riverboat in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, according to Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard.
He said Lachman has a record - she's been arrested at least five times for OVI in several different states, Negangard said. The judge gave her a sentence of three years, but said Lachman could be eligible for early release.
Her customers say they are now out thousands of dollars because they paid for dance classes in advance.
"We had paid initially about $1,000 for the first group of lessons, and an additional $2,000," customer Susan Hill said.
They showed up to the Montgomery studio, and found a sign on the front of a locked door that read "Closed for a week due to family emergency."
"The fact they asked us for money on a Friday and closed on a Monday is very frustrating," customer Paul Hill said.
Lachman's customers tried to call and send emails about the studio's closing, but they received no response.
Tim Haller, the franchise owner of Arthur Murray Dance Centers in CIncinnati and Dayton, said Friday he would help clients affected by the Art of Ballroom's closing.
"If any of the clients impacted by the closure wish to take their lessons at Arthur Murray, we would be happy to make arrangements for services at the Blue Ash location at 9729 Kenwood Road or at our Dayton location at 17 Prestige Plaza near the Dayton Mall," Haller said.
Those interested can call 513-791-9100.
WCPO reporter Bryce Anslinger contributed to this report.