The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has charged yet another Hollywood talent manager with violating the state’s Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009. Veteran manager Patrick W. O’Brien of Pat O’Brien Talent Management and Talent Marketing and Promotions Inc. has been charged with six criminal counts, including grand theft, false advertising, operating an advance-fee talent representation service and failing to file a $50,000 bond with the state Labor Commission. The charges stem from a complaint filed by an Arizona mother who came to LA with her 15-year-old son to audition in a teen sitcom upon invitational by O’Brien’s company. The mother alleges the audition was just a ploy to get her to sign a management contract with O’Brien and pay almost $3,000 for a photo shoot and acting classes. (The woman has since been reimbursed by O’Brien.) If convicted on all counts, O’Brien could face up to five years in jail and $51,000 in fines. In an interview with LA Times, O’Brien called the criminal charges baseless. “The city attorney’s office is trying to regulate the business so much, it’s making it difficult for legitimate companies to operate.”
O’Brien is the fourth talent manager charged with talent scamming under the Krekorian Act that prohibits talent reps from charging advance fees. The first one, David Askaryar of Hollywood Stars Management Inc. and VIP Talent Web Inc., last week pleaded no contest to one count of operating an advance-fee talent representation service and one count of operating a talent listing service without a bond. On the first count, he was sentenced to 36 months’ probation, ordered to shut down his businesses, and banned from owning, operating, or being employed by any talent service. On the second count, he was sentenced to 36 months probation, ordered to serve 90 days in jail or perform 30 days of community service, and ordered to pay $819 in restitution to three victims and another $3,000 in investigative costs. The other 2 charged so far are Ricardo Macias, owner of ActorsOnSet.com, and Nicholas (Nick) Roses, manager at Luber Roklin who operated his acting boot camp business through his own company. Those cases are still being prosecuted.