I responded to an ad on Vancouver's craigslist - under the category of "art/media/design jobs" - for a "Spokesmodel/Social Media/Graphic design" job on July 13, 2012. The ad stated that it would pay $20.00 per hour, to start. Here is the exact wording of that post, which has expired now:
"Needed is a very fashion conscious student who can do great social media design, graphic design and add content to a website. Good organizational skills and quick at working and meeting tasks.
I was then contacted by telephone on July 24th, 2012, by a man who called himself David. He claimed to be in the Los Angeles, California area when we spoke, but he had a Vancouver, B.C. (Canadian) accent and said that he lived here. He hired me without us ever meeting in person, and I began working for him after extensive phone calls and emails. I began writing and posting ads on various U. [continued below]....
.....S. cities' craigslist looking for models who wanted to participate in a reality TV show competition, similar to America's Next Top Model, called "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
The basic wording of the ads was like this:
"The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Show!" Models/Actresses!"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World TV Show!" A reality show to run on Spike Channel.Looking for glamour models, bikini models, luxury models, pin up models, and runway models. Winner is awarded a $250,000 contract, then annual competition to win $1,000,000 contract.
Resume, portfolio, and/or pictures.
Auditions starting right away!
Location: Van BCit's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interestsCompensation: $125/hr."
He wanted me to advertise for positions similar to mine as well, and offer $25-$45/hour. He was quick to give me a raise to $25/hour for posting these ads, and wanted me to hire many ad reps and models. Almost every model who applied in every city was approved and to be sent a digital award letter. The award letter basically stated they needed to meet special portfolio requirements to participate. This was a cost of $1,000 to the model, up front. Obviously, as this information was laid out to me piece by piece, I quickly became suspicious of him, his business practices and motives and I quit. I quit before the end of July, a week in. I was told I would be paid on the 15th of August. I still have not received any of the $600 some odd dollars he promised to pay me. Not a single cent.
Luckily I had not invested a full 40 hour work week doing these communications for him, and only one model had expressed she was interested in paying for the portfolio photo and video shoot up front. I left this in his court, as he wanted to have FedEx pick it up from her at her home. I wanted nothing more to do with this guy, but before resigning I did gain a bit more knowledge of how he planned to collect the thousand dollars from her. (She lives in Houston, Texas.) She sent $500 and it cost her $40 to send it to his specifications. Her contract had stated, "All checks must be either a bank draft or certified check, and must be issued to Dordick Investments Ltd"
When I questioned David about all of this, his exact email response was this:
"We are now going to use an Investment that is registered in Canada called Dordick Investments Ltd. to process all the cheques, it's been incorporated since 1967, and has an impeccable track record. It will be mailed to British Columbia where all the cheques will be sorted. Motiontechtv.com will handle all the pickups.
As to my credibility I've worked for Dordick Investments for 25 years."
August 15th was supposed to be a get together for the ladies who were to be on the show, which was supposed to start filming on September 2nd. August 15th was also supposed to be my pay day. On this day he sent me an email - pretending to be his "admin" person that said this:
"We have reviewed your performance and come to the conclusion that you have been lacking in some hours where you were supposed to be on shift, and secondly, were not by the phone when you should have been. We had to contact you many times. This cost us many delays, and was not according to our contract agreement.
We have to discuss this with David, and get back to you on Monday when he will be back from being out of town on an island shoot.
Admin for David"
I followed up - and on August 20th received this message:
"We are reviewing your paycheque, it seems we have had some issues with the girls trying to get a hold of you. Please refrain from talking negatively about the company. We have a contract and will get an injunction should you say things negatively about the company.
We have received Lauren's first $500, and will be waiting for it to clear the bank to issue you your commission cheque.
We will however have to evaluate how much to pay you on the 1st of month. Some of the hours have come into question that you claimed to have worked.
Admin for David."
I forwarded many emails proving the hours I worked, and also a detailed log of the phone conversations I had had with David himself.
The response was still just this nonsense:
"We have just had a long day with Admin, they have said they were uncertain about the hours you claimed.
Lauren has paid her first $500 for her portfolio. We will give you your commission when it clears the bank.
Please refrain from making negative comments about us as we are evaluating statements received from someone where you slandered the company and we could begin legal proceeding and issue an injunction.
Human Resources for David"
I could go on and on with the dialogue, but basically I was accused of slander. A fake legal document was emailed to me from the Vice President of the company from this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and some lawyer supposedly named Matt Wolf, LLB ordering me to "Cease and Desist immediately and pay $5,000.00 damages" for supposedly posting on craigslist that this company was a scam. I was not actually the one who had posted on CL about it, but I had responded to an ad on the site that said exactly that.
I began forming an alliance of ex-employees who had also not been paid and models who had either paid him or considered doing so... and also continued badgering David for my paycheck as if his company was real.
I was told I would be paid on the 1st of September if I submitted my cell phone records. I gave up after doing some research. The guys name came up when I googled it, associated with many other financial type scams around the Vancouver area. Apparently the guy has a long history of not paying his employees and also of trying to scam investment money out of people.
At the end of August I filed a few reports. One with The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) - file number 746380. Another with the Vancouver Police department - report number 12-141947. A police officer contacted me and shared that David was in serious financial distress, had a history of mental illness in this delusions of grandeur type of way, and had recently been evicted.
On September 4th I decided to email the one model in Houston who had wanted to pay the portfolio fee because of me contacting her. I just alerted her to his lies/scam and she never sent the other half.
He had originally claimed that Steven Spielberg was co-producing the show with him. Steven Spielberg's agent's office confirmed that this was untrue, and shortly thereafter some of the adverts no longer use his name. However, at the time that I am posting this detailed report, you can still see it on the flyer type image on the http://motiontechtv.com/ website.
I hope this was detailed enough, and that no other victims get cheated out of their time, energy or money by this David person.