BEVERLY HILLS—The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed seven criminal charges against two men who falsely operated a Beverly Hills talent agency on Tuesday, January 10.
The charges indicate that Patrick Arnold Simpson and Paul Atteukenian violated the Krekorian Act by charging a client up-front fees and falsely representing Network International Models and Talent as a licensed talent agency.
The Krekorian Act, named after Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, is a talent scam prevention law created to prohibit agents and managers from charging anything other than commissions or reimbursements from their clients.
The complaint maintains that after signing a teenage girl in April 2016 on a one-year contract for representation, the girl’s mother was persuaded to pay for portfolio photography services. The complaint notes that the agency did not obtain a “Child Performer Service Permit,” which is a requirement for representing minors in California.
The girl’s mother, Delores White, alleges to have spent $560 on photos of her daughter, and later paid an additional $184.80 for other photography services. A payment of $8,245 was allegedly solicited from her for her daughter to participate in the International Model and Talent Convention in New York.
White filed a complaint to the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs when confronted with the $8,245 fee, which began an investigation, according to City Attorney Mike Feuer’s Office.
NIMT, established for 25 years, has worked to get talent on shows like “CSI Miami” and the reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” according to their website.
The two men were charged with petty theft, attempted grand theft and criminal conspiracy. If convicted, each could face up to 4 years in jail and $33,500 in fines. The arraignment is scheduled for January 25, 2017.
“The promise of Hollywood has lured thousands of people from around the globe to pursue careers in television and movies,” said Feuer in a statement. “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.”