Report: #66169

Complaint Review: Wilhelmina

  • Submitted: Mon, August 25, 2003
  • Updated: Mon, September 15, 2003
  • Reported By: Greencastle Indiana
  • Wilhelmina

    Indianapolis,, Indiana

Wilhelmina Scouting Network ripoff dishonest ,no work, no show on portfolio, can't get a hold of, payed over 1000.oo to then have had to get new debt cards Indianapolis, Indiana

*Consumer Comment: Orlando Federal Judge declares no Jurisdiction in Pearlman's lawsuit againt Rip-off Report

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Following dreams of a 13 yr old to become a model. We went to the casting call they said she was run way model material and I know she is but they set up a phone confrence with her father, mother and her they told her father it would be a one time fee upfront of 995.00 to place her on the network and she would have plenty of job offers in the near future because there were only 3 clients that matched her description.

There would also be a monthly charge of 19.95 for internet updates and acess. We got our final interview in July this was with the talent coordinator who said that we needed professional photos taken for our portfolio so Pam Rifner our talant coordinator set up a time 9:00am on Saturday August the 23rd with a photographer in Greencastle recommended by Wilhelmina. At a cost of 590.00 at which I had to fill out the payment agreement and fax it back closser to the above date. This included our debt card information.

We were instructed on what outfits we needed to get and did so. I tried for two weeks prior to the photo shoot to get a hold of someone to but we had no luck but we knew our account would be hit for the full amount if we didn't show up. Instead They were the no shows.

We then knew something was wrong. Called to ask questions and found out our 13 year old did not exist in there network we have asked for a full refund due to no work being offered and when it was they wanted us to pay over 3000.00 for each job oppertunity. We have canceled the debt cards and had to put stops on anything comming through. Now phone call will not be retured nor will they answer the phone. Please help if you can to get our money back and to warn others about Wilhelmina scouting network or what ever name they are now using.

Greencastle, Indiana
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/25/2003 08:08 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Orlando Federal Judge declares no Jurisdiction in Pearlman's lawsuit againt Rip-off Report


I wanted to include this article as part of the documentation of this huge rip-off.

Internet site to keep operating

A federal judge said she doesn't have jurisdiction in a case brought by a Lou Pearlman company.

By Tim Barker | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted September 13, 2003

Lou Pearlman's Wilhelmina Scouting Network has suffered a setback in its bid to shut down a Web site that warns consumers to stay away from his Internet-based model-scouting company.

A lawsuit against Badbusinessbureau, filed in federal court in Orlando, was dismissed by Judge Anne Conway, who ruled that she did not have jurisdiction.

Ed Magedson, the Web site's creator, said the legal maneuvering by Wilhelmina was little more than an effort to silence a critic.

"They knew they didn't have jurisdiction. They just wanted to cost us money," Magedson said. "They have in-house lawyers who pump out these boilerplate lawsuits."

Wilhelmina officials could not be reached for comment.

It isn't known whether the company will pursue the lawsuit elsewhere.

"If they do, it would be absolutely ridiculous. It would just draw more negative publicity for themselves," said Frank Torelli, an investigator for the Web site who also was named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged trademark infringement, unfair competition and defamation.

Badbusinessbureau operates the ripoffreport, which includes scathing commentary about Pearlman's company, known both as Trans Continental Talent and Wilhelmina Scouting Network.

The lawsuit asked the court to prohibit the Web site from using the Trans Continental name anywhere on its pages.

"Defendants, by improperly using this trademark, are misleading the public into believing that their services are connected with" Trans Continental Talent, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also alleged that there are numerous false statements published on the site.

Web sites like this have long been a source of irritation for the company, which has said "slanderous Internet postings" are one of the reasons for its problems with customers. Such sites have convinced many customers that something could be wrong with the services sold by Wilhelmina/Trans Continental. The company puts would-be models on the Internet, where they have a chance of being seen by casting agents and modeling agencies.

The company has been under investigation for more than a year by the Florida Attorney General's Office, which has received some 1,300 complaints from consumers. Among other things, customers have complained they were misled with promises that work in the fashion industry would be easy to find.

The company says it makes no such promises.

Tim Barker can be reached at or 407-420-5022.

Copyright 2003, Orlando Sentinel


I have been watching those who have been writing about being victimized by this scam because I am relative of another kind of victim; those who have the misfortune of developing relationships with these horrible people.

My nephew was abused by Michael El-Difrawi, who I understand now goes by the name of Alec Defrawy. He attacked my nephew about 13 years ago. He was only 4 years old at the time. Michael hit him in the stomach and scared him so badly that he messed his pants, which is not unusual for a grown-up. Michael was not even supposed to be around him either.

CLICK HERE: To see the two charges filed against Alec Defrawy.

CLICK HERE: To see Alec modus operandi when faced with a legal complaint; register as an indigent. Then he doesn't have to pay for the defense of his crimes, the people and his mother pay.

Michael shamed him and ordered him into the bathtub and then proceeded to scald him so badly that the skin fell of his bottom and genitals. My nephew is still if affected by the incident today. Shortly after Michael was arrested, David B. Elliot showed up on the doorstep and told T***** not to testify and make sure my nephew didn't either. When she refused, he offered to bribe her. He said, "How much will it take to make this all go away."

T***** and my nephew testified and Michael got off real easy. They should have cut off Michael's balls! Nothing happened to David Elliot. The legal system here stinks. The victims are punished for eternity, while the perps get off (pardon the pun).

These people are monsters and I can't believe that the newspapers and media in Orlando aren't covering the criminal pasts of ALL those involved more aggressively. I feel badly for all these models who were victimized by them, but the FBI should have known about them and protected wannabe's from these scum. Just my opinion.
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