Finding a talent agent can be tough. But, finding a legitimate talent agency can be even tougher. Now a major Los Angeles talent agency is in hot water after the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has filed criminal charges against the agency.
According to Deadline, the Network International Models & Talent agency owners were charged with seven counts including representing children without a child performer service permit, falsely representing that the business was a licensed talent agency, petty theft, attempted grand theft and criminal conspiracy. If convicted, the owners, Patrick Arnold Simpson and Paul Atteukenian, could face up to four years in jail and $33,500 in fines.
Apparently, the talent agency was unlicnesed and were falsely claiming that they had a license to represent child actor and violating the Krekorian Act, which prohibits fees for representation.
“The promise of Hollywood has lured thousands of people from around the globe to pursue careers in television and movies,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Unfortunately, that promise also attracts unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of those hopes and dreams. My office will hold accountable those who prey on aspiring performers to the full extent of the law.”
It is important to note that under the Krekorian Act, any talent agency that is representing a talent must not charge advance fees or require actors, models, or talents to purchase any services as a condition of representation. The services include: photo shoots, acting classes, or seminars.
According to Deadline’s report, Network International Models & Talent violated the Krekorian Act, after signing a teenage girl from Inglewood. The teen’s mother was allegedly charged $560 by the agency for headshots and a portfolio for her daughter. Plus, the mother was told that her daughter had been selected to attend a convention in New York that would cost $8,245 and she would have to pay her talent agency. The teen’s mother would later file a complaint with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.