A former dance instructor who has sued the owner of a dance studio in New York over unpaid rent claims has accused the former owner of “criminal activity” and of trying to destroy the business.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday, attorney Richard H. Miller alleged that the owner, former studio owner Joseph C. Millett, broke the law by “stealing” the business by “taking advantage of the fact that the owners own the business, making it financially dependent on him for the purpose of stealing business from him”.
“The business is not in any way related to Mr Millett’s criminal activity,” the suit reads.
“The business has never been in business with Mr Millet, the business has been owned and operated by his heirs since its inception.”
Miller said the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the “vast majority” of dancers who used to work at the studio.
He said the business had been in existence for at least 10 years and has been running for about four years.
“It’s an open secret that Mr Millette has made a huge amount of money by leasing out the studio to his heirs,” Miller said.
“The court believes he is doing what he thinks is right for the business to survive.
He’s not taking care of his tenants.”
The lawsuit seeks to stop Millett from turning the dance studio into a rental facility and said Millett should not be allowed to keep the business for any longer.
“Millett has violated his contractual obligations and has taken advantage of a public trust that he has built,” Miller added.
“As a result of this breach, the public trust has suffered substantial damages.”
Millett’s attorney, Daniel Whelan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
In December, the US Supreme Court heard a case over whether former New York City police officer Anthony Baez was entitled to $1.6 million in damages for allegedly illegally taking money from his former employer, the Metropolitan Police Department.
Millett, who has been accused of ripping off the business and its employees, denies the allegations.
He has also previously denied any wrongdoing.