The former owner of Starbound Dance Studio in Porterdale was arrested on Tuesday by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office on 13 counts of theft by conversion.
According to the arrest report, Valerie F. Odom was bonded out later the same day. She now faces charges regarding her failure to refund fees she collected for a dance recital that never happened and for costumes that were never used, as has been previously reported by The News.
According to parents who spoke to The News for previous stories, Odom closed the studio without explanation or notice, stating she would refund money to all parents. After no funds were returned, parents found that Odom stopped responding to emails and phone calls and was planning to move.
However, as there are only 13 charges, not all parents decided to press criminal charges for the wrongs done to them and their children. A group of parents quickly worked to reopen the studio under the name Rhythm Elements Dance Studio after partnering with Rhythm’s owners.