A talent manager was sentenced Thursday to three years of probation and ordered to shut down his company for unlawfully charging clients for photo shoots.
Patrick Arnold Simpson, 49, pleaded no contest to one count of violating the state’s Krekorian Act, which bars talent agents from charging upfront fees. Simpson, who operated Network International Models & Talent, was also ordered to pay $3,804 in restitution and perform 200 hours of community service, and was barred from working as a talent manager for the term of his probation.
In January, the L.A. City Attorney’s Office brought seven misdemeanor charges against Simpson and his business partner, Paul Atteukenian, alleging that they had charged a woman $746 for photos of her teenage daughter.
Later, the agency allegedly told the woman that her daughter had been selected for a convention in New York, and attempted to charge her $8,245 to attend. The woman began researching the company online and then filed a complaint with the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.
Atteukenian was placed on informal diversion for one year, and was also barred from representing talent, according to the city attorney’s office.
The Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009 bars talent representatives from charging upfront fees, which generally come with the promise of obtaining future work. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer brought misdemeanor charges in February against 25 people involved in casting workshops, where actors were allegedly charged for de facto auditions.
Pictured: L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer