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"Talent Scout" Business Owner Accused of Ripping Off Hopeful Young Actors
August 07, 2012
Responding to consumer complaints, the County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs launched an investigation involving allegations that a Los Angeles company made it a practice to scam children and young adults aspiring to become actors and models.
The successful investigation resulted in the filing of criminal charges against Candace Vanessa Brewington, the owner and operator of “Contour Management” and “Modern Talent Group.” This week, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office filed a seven-count misdemeanor lawsuit against Brewington, 36, who also uses the alias “Vanessa Von.”
Brewington is scheduled to be arraigned on August 8, 2012. If convicted, Brewington faces up to five years in county jail and more than $45,000 in fines and penalties.
Victims allege that Brewington’s “talent scouts” solicited them at public places like Montebello Town Center, Target in Culver City, and the North Hollywood subway station and convinced parents and young adults to buy expensive photo packages from a business called “N Focus Studio.” Unknown to customers, Brewington allegedly also owns N Focus Studio. The photo packages, ranging from $300-900, were advertised as professional, industry-standard engagements by a high-end photographer, but turned out to be a rushed, 10- or 15-minute shoot in a room packed with 15-20 other customers.
If you have been victimized by Contour Management or Modern Talent Group, please contact Consumer Affairs investigators Morine Merritt at (213) 974-9673 or Esther Martinez at (213) 974-9942, or file a complaint online at dca.lacounty.gov. For more information about talent services, visit dca.lacounty.gov/TalentServices.htm.