Orlando, FL (PRWEB) March 24, 2004
The Wilhelmina Model Agency based in New York has initiated a $25,000,000 lawsuit against Boy Band Impresario Lou Pearlman, based in Orlando Florida (US Federal Court Middle District case #6:04-CV-286-ORL-22KRS. Full details can be found at http://www.transconscam.com).
The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and fraud with the use of the Wilhelmina trademark and misrepresentations made to thousands of young people about the model scouting tactics of Lou Pearlman's company Trans Continental Talent, renamed to Wilhelmina Scouting Network under the now broken agreement in March 2003.
Lou Pearlman and Trans Continental Talent are also being sued in Florida Federal Court by their largest group of former franchisees, United States Talent Company (USTC), in a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging breach of franchise agreements and fraud (US Federal Court Middle District case #6:2003CV01565).
The lawsuits are available for download at http://www.transconscam.com
It is also alleged that Lou Pearlman illegally transferred the assets of Wilhelmina Scouting Network that went bankrupt in October 2003 into Pearlman controlled entities Fashion Rock LLC and Fashion Rock Inc.
There have been over 10 different names of this model/talent scouting scam in the past four years including Studio 58, Whymodel, Whytalent, Efashionshow.com, Emodel, Options Talent Group, Trans Continental Talent, Edge Talent, Wilhelmina Scouting Network, Web Style Network, Fashion Rock LLC, Fashion Rock Now since beginning operation since 1999.
In September 2003, the New York State Consumer Protection Board officially labeled all versions a scam, held state hearings on the matter and demanded the company leave the state of New York.
The NYCPB issued 7 press releases warning consumers about the fraudulent practices of the scouting network.
In August 2002, the Florida Attorney General Economic Crimes Division launched a formal investigation into unfair, deceptive and fraudulent practices of Pearlmans's scouting network. Currently there are over 2,500 consumer affidavits that detail myriad fraud, deception as well as illegal and unauthorized withdrawals from consumers bank accounts and credit cards. Investigations into Lou Pearlman, other owners and executives of all versions of this talent scam are still ongoing by state and federal law enforcement.
VAMS (Victims Against Modeling Scams) is a consumer advocacy and investigation group that has helped over 4,000 defrauded consumers of these model scams understand their rights and navigate the confusing documents that must be filed with government entities when seeking relief.
The estimated amount of fraud in this case exceeds $100,000,000 with over 150,000 consumer victims worldwide defrauded of between $1,000 and $3,000 each.
Consumer victims can also seek help at the website.
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