Bridal Store in Upper Marlboro Closes Abruptly, Leaving Brides Without Dresses

Brides-to-be have been left scrambling after an Upper Marlboro bridal shop closed abruptly this week, leaving them with no idea whether they'll get the dresses they've ordered and paid for.

The owner of Couture Miss Bridal and Formal is facing eviction.

"I think I am all cried out," customer Chantayle Watkins said Friday. "This is one of the worst days of my life."

Watkins' wedding is in just 16 days. Her seven bridesmaids paid for gowns from the shop, but they haven't been able to pick them up.

"She said that the government was here and that's all I can tell you," Watkins said.

Ephonia Green, the owner of the shop, was convicted of stealing $5.1 million from a D.C. nonprofit in 2013. As part of her conviction, Green was supposed to turn over her bridal shop, home, car and all other assets.

However, in an amended order Green was able to keep the shop -- that is, until a consent motion was filed Monday, ordering the business to close and be handed over to the government because Green was facing eviction.

The feds have seized the property and all its contents, although the outdated sign from Tuesday claims they are closed for inventory.

Brides and families are left without access to their dresses or any type of refund at this time. 

"She said, the only thing I can tell you to do is file suit," Watkins said.

Customers affected by the closure should call D.C.'s U.S. Attorney's Office at 202 252-7566 and ask for the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering prosecutors in this case. A representative at the U.S. Marshals Service will contact them with details.

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