The staff at Star Search Casting isnít the only group of people cracking down scammers targeting the modeling industry. Recently the Norfolk Superior Court convicted two men found guilty of scamming more than a dozen models, ages 2 to 32, out of thousands of dollars. The men will both serve time in jail, and will complete community service upon their release.
The two men were the owners of Marvel Models. The men ďscoutedĒ aspiring models at malls and movie theaters and then after meeting with them, encouraged them to pay $595 to have their pictures posted on their website, as well as a monthly maintenance fee. Additionally they also charged models exorbitant fees for photo shoots and to participate in fashion shows.
Marvel Models used deceptive advertising strategies and made false statements in order to lure models and convince them to sign with Marvel Models. The owners of Marvel Models told prospective models that:
Marvel Models had offices around the world including Paris, Milan and Italy
Marvel Models had been in business for several years
Marvel Models supplied models for several high-end fashion magazines
None of these statements were true. Additionally, Marvel Models lied about the number of models that they actually represented in order to make their agency appear larger and more established than it actually was. After the investigation was under way, it was determined that Marvel Models didnít even have a license to operate a modeling agency.
The good news is that both men were forced to pay restitution to their victims, so the models were able to recoup funds that had been paid to Marvel Models. Not only is that great news for the models who were targeted by Marvel Models, but itís also great news for our industry! Hopefully as more scammers are investigated and prosecuted, the industry will become safer for aspiring models.
The Needham Police Department received several complaints about Marvel Models, which is what led to the men being investigated and charged. Therefore itís extremely important that if you are the victim of a scam in your area that you alert the police. Your complaint is important not only in building your own case, but it could also play a huge role in helping others targeted by the same person or company seek justice as well.
For more information on modeling scams, log in each day to Star Search Casting at www.StarSearchCasting.com and review our Modeling Scam Watch area.
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Scammers Get Jail Time
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