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PHONY TALENT AGENCIES FACE CRACKDOWN

January 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles authorities have begun to crack down on companies that promise to represent aspiring actors but charge them thousands of dollars for service fees and rarely get them work. On Thursday, Ricardo Macias, owner of ActorsOnSet.com, and David Askaryar, owner of Hollywood Stars Management and VIP Talent Web, were charged with violating the 2009 Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act. The city attorney’s office filed 18 criminal counts against Macias, who faces up to 11 years in jail and a $53,000 fine, and 16 counts against Askaryar, who faces 13 1/2 years in jail and $127,500 in fines. “These cases show that the City Attorney’s Office will be vigilant in prosecuting talent services in violation of the Krekorian Act,” Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert said in a statement. The city attorney’s office said that it had received 22 complaints from around the country since 2009 about ActorsOnSet.com claiming that they were charged $98 to register with the site but received no offers of jobs in return. It said that aspiring actors looking for work via Hollywood Stars Management were charged $300 each for registration and a $39 monthly fee for career management. Such fees are illegal under the Krekorian Act.