NJ Modeling Company Charged With Consumer Fraud Following Over 200 Complaints

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey-based company that promised hopeful parents their children would be marketed to modeling or acting companies has been charged with consumer fraud.

Authorities said the company forced parents to pay for what amounted to expensive photo shoots.

State Attorney General Paula Dow said more than 200 complaints have been filed against Industry Model and Talent Studios and a successor corporation, Interface 1. The company is owned by Roman Vintfeld.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Speaks With The Director Of The N.J. Division Of Consumer Affairs

Kevin Fernandez, 16, said he thought the modeling agency would get him work, but instead it allegedly charged his mom $1,000 for a photo shoot and asked for hundreds more to promote him.

“I guess I was lied to, you know.  I guess I was just deceived,” he told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Deceived because they said they didn’t know the contract they signed was for a photo shoot only.

“The person said ‘oh I’m sorry, we cannot return your money, because once an appointment is scheduled, the money is not refundable,'” Fernandez’s mother, Claudia Cordoba, said.

“These companies would case malls and theme parks, shower false flattery on the children and give them the representation that they had prospects within show business,” said Thomas Calcagni, the director of the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs.

However, an attorney representing Interface disputed the claims in the lawsuit and said “We have had the opportunity to review the claims made in the complaint and find them baseless. The company is prepared to vigorously defend all of its actions.”

A spokesperson at Interface said the agency gets thousands of clients and manages to get 85 percent of them auditions or with agencies.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • bullett

    While society continues to breed gullible people who believe in this type of sales pitch, flim-flamers will always be out there looking to take your money.

  • Juan Valdez

    This is a stupid lawsuit filed by New Jersey. Obviously a political decision to attack this company and its owner. Business is business – this company offers a service for money just like every other business. So the contract explicitly told these clients what they were paying for and how things would be calculated. Some of these immigrants pretend to be naive when in reality they are smarter than a fox – the kid in this video was in my opinion not very attractive – how would he ever be a model? Maybe him and his mom are just angry because he is not great looking and couldn’t be placed quick enough. Think about that for a minute people.

    • GiGi

      You must not now who they are lol. They do this everyday to everyone. They prey on ppl and yes some are gullible. When you work for them or when you work around them you get to know about their “work teckniques”. But anyways ppl are not too smart to trust them given the countless complaints on BBB and other websites. I wouldnt bother with this company even if th photo shoots were for free! Its about time someone said and did something. I know of ppl who have lost thousands with this company.

  • Jeidbd

    False flattery? All kids are cute!!!!

  • Khrys

    this has to be one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read in my life. I’m sure 100% of models and actors were discovered without doing anything. The only thing that’s true is that if an agency is legit and wants to represent you, they’ll foot the bill for your pictures and only collect their take when they actually land you paying work.

  • not a stage mom just a real mom

    When will people learn if you have to pay for it it is a scam.Most models get discovered .not go through sleezy places like this.What penny saver were they advertising in.JUST face it if your kids were good looking or talented they would of been discovered already.

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