Report: #68662

Complaint Review: Lou Pearlman Trans Continental Talent - Wilhelmina Scouting Network - Options Talent -Emodel

  • Submitted: Thu, October 09, 2003
  • Updated: Thu, October 09, 2003
  • Reported By: orlando Florida
  • Lou Pearlman Trans Continental Talent - Wilhelmina Scouting Network - Options Talent -Emodel
    1701 Park Center Drive
    Orlando, Florida

Trans Continental Talent - Wilhelmina Scouting Network - Options Talent -Emodel Lou Pearlman Employment ripoff Florida State Government turns a blind eye Rampant Corruption buys off several officials Orlando Florida

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The scam is located here in Florida. I know several people who have complained about a variety of problems with their employment at TCT / WSN to the STATE OF FLORIDA Department of Business and Professional Regulation. They have jurisdiction with for this scam but despite all the complaints, they SIT ON THEIR THUMBS! I also happen to know that Lou Pearlman's attorney and general a*s-coverer (which is a substantial task by itself), Pete Antonacci is pulling out his influence cards with Governor Jeb Bush and Dave Moy of the Attorney General's office. Pete defended Jeb Bush's daughter on drug charges and was named to chair the Florida Commission on Ethics. (What a joke! More than once, fellow Democrats complained about his influence pandering and he is on an ethics panel?) Now Pete is getting David W. Moy to run interference and just plain old "bury" this investigation. Why is the Attorney General's office lying to people about the status of this very investigation? Why have they stopped giving interviews on the biggest investigation currently being conducted by any State? Has Jackie Dowd been fired? Suddenly, all lips are sealed in Florida State Government and it looks like Pete Antonacci is earning every penny he is charging Pearlman to cover his tracks. Why is Pearlman getting away with shredding, hiding and destroying the evidence of his crimes? Who do I have to pay to get into this business? Why does Pearlman get to get away with this and the cops pull you over for 10 miles over the speed limit? In the Rob Fizia case, the FBI was all over him and completely ignored Alec Defrawy. What is wrong with this picture? I feel like we are locked in the Orlando twilight zone. READ THIS GREAT REPORT BY TIM BARKER (Not sure who lit a fire under the Orlando Sentinel, but they seem to have done an about face.)

Ex-workers say they're due back pay

By Tim Barker Sentinel Staff Writer October 9, 2003 The closing of a dozen Wilhelmina Scouting Network offices around the country has left employees complaining about their treatment by the controversial Orlando firm. Employees say they were given no advance notice of last week's closings and that the Lou Pearlman company is refusing to pay them for their last few weeks' work. "It's like they don't appreciate anything we did for them," said Megan Klein, a photo-shoot coordinator in the New York City office, who says she is owed nearly $6,000. "I just don't understand. We made them a lot of money." Pearlman on Wednesday, however, said Wilhelmina Scouting has no responsibility to pay the workers, who were actually employees of United States Talent Co., a franchisee that owned the dozen model-scouting offices in question. "These people never worked for us. They always worked for the franchisee," Pearlman said. "We are not obligated to pay any of their bills." Trans Continental Talent, which operates as the Wilhelmina Scouting Network, does not own any of the now 57 franchise locations spread across the United States and the world. Those offices employ armies of scouts to sign up models for the company's Web site. The fees paid by the models are split between the franchise owners and Wilhelmina. United States Talent, in a written statement to the Sentinel, challenged Pearlman's position, noting that Wilhelmina Scouting took control of the 12 offices in June and has collected all revenues generated since then. "Absolutely no basis exists for TCT [Trans Continental Talent] to do such a horrible thing to many good people," the company said. The dispute over who owes the former workers centers on a June agreement in which Wilhelmina Scouting took over the dozen offices to run for 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, Wilhelmina had run up $300,000 in debt across the 12 offices, according to the statement by United States Talent. Prior to that takeover, all bills and employees were paid, United States Talent said. Pearlman, however, characterized the 90-day takeover as Wilhelmina stepping in to assist the troubled franchises. He said they already were in debt and had fallen behind in their payments to the corporate office. "They were in debt before we took them over," Pearlman said. "It wasn't like we went in there and ruined their business." At the end of the 90-day period, both Wilhelmina and United States Talent decided they wanted nothing more to do with the troubled franchises. Employees were told on Sept. 30 that the offices would be closed immediately. At first, employees say, they were repeatedly assured that they would be paid. But deadlines came and went. Now, their phone calls and e-mails generate nothing but silence from the Orlando headquarters, said Yomi Richardson, a New York scout. "We're not able to reach anyone. There's been no response." Wilhelmina Scouting has been under investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office for more than a year, with investigators receiving 1,500 complaints from consumers who say the company uses deceptive advertising and misrepresentation. With that in mind, Carla Brandwein, also a photo coordinator in the New York office, said she was not surprised at the abrupt closures. "When you work for a company that's constantly getting really bad press and has lots of unsatisfied customers, it [closing] can't ever be that far away." Former employees said the closures include offices in Jacksonville, Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Norfolk, Va., San Antonio and Nashville, Tenn. Wilhelmina did not confirm the list, but those offices no longer appear on the company's Web site directory. The news of the 12 office closings was welcomed by New York's Consumer Protection Board, which has scheduled a hearing today to look at Wilhelmina Scouting's practices. The board has labeled the company a "consumer scam." "It's great to see we've turned the corner and it's shrinking," said John Sorensen, an investigator and spokesman for the board. Also, he said investigators would now be able to gain more insight into the company's operations through interviews with disgruntled workers. "It's great news for us. And it's great news for the public," Sorensen said. Tim Barker can be reached at or 407-420-5022.

Hell, it is plain as anyone can see that Pearlman is deep in the pockets of Mayor Buddy Dyer, the Orlando City Council and the Department of Justice in Florida (probably Jeb Bush playing politics with his big brother's buddy, Ashcroft). Here's a question that someone needs to ask; "Why isn't there any criminal investigation being conducted on Pearlman and the people in his company?" Are these people going to get away without any jail? I guess there is no justice for those poorer victims who are scammed by richer perps. Let's see if Tim Barker or someone else with big enough balls at the Orlando Sentinel cover that story!!! Sparticus Orlando, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wilhelmina Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Emodel Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Options Talent Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Trans Continental Talent AKA Options Talent
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/09/2003 03:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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