Talent Agent Accused of Scamming Kids & Their Parents
A 21-year-old Studio City-based talent manager and his company have been charged with seven misdemeanor counts stemming from allegations he was running an "advance-fee talent scheme" that put kids at risk of harm, according to the City Attorney's office. Nicholas Roses and his Roses Entertainment Group face "three counts of operating an advance-fee talent representation service, one count of failing to file the proper $50,000 bond with the State Labor Commission, and one count of failing to use written artist contracts."
The case against Roses began earlier this year, when three parents reached out to the LA City Attorney's office to report Roses' questionable business practices. All three parents had encountered Roses at a workshop in Ohio, where Roses urged them to sign their youngsters, whose ages ranged from 6 to 14 at the time, up for his summer talent "boot camp" and to move to Los Angeles.
Those parents trusted Roses, and shelled out about three grand each to put their kids in Roses' camp in the summer of 2010. However, they allege the camp was shoddily run, "with participants ranging in age from six to 62, all randomly thrown together." Other accusations include that Roses did not provide "adequate seating, sufficient food, water and breaks during the 12-hour program," and that many kids got sick as a result.
Roses is facing prosecution thanks to a new piece of legislation, The Talent Scam Prevention Act. The Roses case is only the second time the City Attorney has pursued a case based on the act, which was written and passed by current City Councilman Paul Krekorian while he was in his previous post in the State Assembly. Says Krekorian of today's filing:
“The act provides the tools they need to go after fraud artists who prey on children and others who are lured by promises of stardom and fame. I applaud the tremendous work of the City Attorney’s Office - and especially Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert - for once again helping to protect our most vulnerable residents and restoring hope to those whose dreams were swindled away.”
Adds the City Attorney's office: "If convicted on all charges, Roses could face up to seven years in jail and more than $70,000 in fines and penalties." Roses is slated to be arraigned April 14th.