There’s a new development in that Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office crackdown on Hollywood managers and agencies it believes are running afoul of the state’s labor law, the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009, which prohibits charging advance fees. Four talent managers have been accused of charging improper fees, the highest-profile one being Nick Roses. Now this week Roses, the one-time 21-year-old wunderkind talent manager based in Studio City, entered a no-contest plea to one count of operating an advance-fee talent representation service and one count of failing to file the proper $50,000 bond with the State Labor Commission. Judge Yolanda Orozco sentenced Roses to serve 90 days in jail or perform 45 days of Community Labor, and to 36 months probation. During that time, Roses is ordered to have no involvement with any talent training service, talent counseling service, or talent listing service anywhere, including outside the state of California. Roses also was ordered not to be involved with any “camp”, education facility, or day care facility attended by anyone under the age of 18. Failure to abide by the terms of probation will result in Roses being sentenced to at least 6 months of jail. In addition to the above, Roses is ordered to pay $10,700 in total restitution to the three complaining witnesses, and to pay $2,000 investigative costs to the City Attorney’s Office.
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.
It is a story that has dominated conversations among talent agents and managers this week. As reported by several outlets, on Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office announced that Nicholas Roses, identified as a 21-year-old talent manager based in Studio City, Calif., has been charged with nine criminal counts. He has been accused of luring parents from small-town America to bring their children to his poorly run (according to the parents), expensive (at $3,000 a pop) acting workshops in Los Angeles with the promise to eventually sign the kids.
Why is the case getting so much attention in talent circles? Because Nicholas Roses is actually Nick Roses, a well-known youth talent manager working for established management company Luber Roklin Entertainment. Roses, who joined Luber Roklin a year ago, has been running the alleged scheme through his own company, and partner Matt Luber on Thursday told me they were unaware of Roses’ extracurricular activities. Immediately after Roses’ indictment Tuesday, he was suspended by Luber Roklin pending further investigation. His name has since been removed from the company’s staff directory on IMDb Pro. (Meanwhile, several talent agents and managers from other companies told me that many in the industry had known about Roses’ practices and expressed doubt that he could have kept them secret from his bosses.)
There is one other reason for this case being on everyone’s lips: Roses is not just a young turk, he has been a lightning rod. “I can’t think of anyone else of that age who is more hated,” one talent manager said. “He’s wronged a lot of people.”