Attorney General Lawsuits against Modeling Companies
The Attorney General of every state also has the mandate, power, and authority to investigate and prosecute companies engaged in modeling scams.
The Attorney General of Texas, for example, sued and shut down a talent agency called Marquee Talent in 2002 after consumers complained.
The Attorney General of North Carolina sued Model Select International, a modeling agency based in Charlotte which was taking $1,000 for photos but not getting models work. The complaint says the company, which has gone out of business, misled applicants and made most of its money from selling photos.
Prior to opening Face National Models and Talent, LLC, Chad E. Johnson operated a modeling company in Georgia called Xtra Model Management, Inc.
The State of Georgia sued Johnson and his company for engaging in unfair or deceptive practices in connection with the operation of his modeling company, and Johnson signed a judgment agreeing, among other things, never to engage in employment with, directing, or acting as an agent or consultant for a modeling or talent agency located in the state of Georgia.
He further agreed to pay the State of Georgia $30,000 to be used as restitution and attorney fees.
The Attorney General of Florida sued a talent agency after receiving complaints, issuing a press release entitled "Children's Talent Agency Charged with Deceptive Trade Practices."
The Attorney General of Florida started an investigation into a modeling agency which was making money on photographs based on a TV news investigation: "As a result of the ABC 28 investigation, the Department of Professional Regulation, and the Attorney General's Office are joining Tampa police to investigate Model 2000." (http://www.28news.com/stories/archive/020215model2000.shtml)
Modeling firm to Make Refunds in Job-Offer Deal
Centre Daily Times (State College, PA)
By LISA HAARLANDER
March 14, 1998
Excel Model Management will give refunds to people who responded to its help-wanted ads and paid for the agency's training, but never got the promised jobs.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher announced Friday that Excel, 300 S. Pugh St., State College, signed an agreement with his office to settle the alleged violations and paid $2,045.50 in civil fines and investigation costs.
The company's agreement to settle the complaints does not necessarily indicate an admission of wrongdoing.
"It appears the help-wanted ads were being used to bring people into a training program rather than providing them with employment," said Deputy Attorney General Barry Creany in Ebensburg, who investigated 22 complaints against the agency.
For instance, he alleges a brochure from the agency cited a 95 percent job placement record, yet the majority of people never got paying jobs. Instead, they were offered training that could cost up to $835, Creany said.
Part of that training involved charging aspiring models a $350 fee to take their pictures. The photographer got $200 and the agency got $150, he said.
"Legitimate agencies make money from models' commissions," Creany said. "It's not common practice for an agency to charge the consumers for the photographers or receive a commission from the photographers."
Kelli Harman, owner of The Harman Agency, used to be the owner of two other agencies in Pennsylvania called "Excel Model Management" and "Millenia Models."
To file an official complaint against a company at the Office of your Attorney General.
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