Hollywood talent manager, Deborah Brazil was convicted for illegally charging $110,000 for representing a female singer.
The entertainment industry is filled with scams and crooks interested in making a dollar off of innocent people. Most recently, the Los Angeles City Attorney's office has convicted a talent manager for illegally charging $110,000 for representing actors, models, and talent.
Debra Baum, 53, entered a plea of no contest to one count of operating an advance fee talent service. Judge Debroah Brazil sentenced Baum to 36 months summary probation and ordered her to serve 45 days in jail or perform 20 days of community labor. Baum also agreed to pay $91,252.75 in restitution to the parents of the victims.
“SAG-AFTRA applauds City Attorney Mike Feuer and his talented team of attorneys for their commitment to providing meaningful and effective enforcement of the Talent Scam Prevention Act,” said SAG-AFTRA General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
According to the report Debroah Brazil solicited a 19-year old in 2012 who she heard singing in a hair salon and signed her to a $10,000 per month management contract to promote her singing career. Before ending the contract in 2012, the victim's family paid $70,000 in management fees as well as thousands in third party expenses for vocal training stylists and recordings.
It is important to point out that you should never have to pay your talent agency or talent manager for a job. A talent agent and manager gets paid after
you land a role or movie. Think of their payment as a commission check for doing their jobs. Many times scam artists tell artists they need to pay them for other services to help build their career but, that is false and it is excatly what landed Debroah Brazil in court.
“This law is a key element of protecting people from talent scams, but the best law would be meaningless without the efforts of law enforcement. We hope and expect that others who might be inclined to take advantage of people’s dreams to work in the entertainment industry will take this enforcement success to heart and think twice before crossing that line.”
If you're worried about scams in the industry, read our guide on Audition scams and how to avoid them