L.A. City Attorney Reaches First Plea Deal in Casting Workshop Scam
The owner of Actors Alley accepts his sentence — which could bring 10 days in jail — and agrees to steer clear of casting workshops for three years.
One of the defendants in the Los Angeles city attorney’s crackdown on Hollywood's pay-to-play casting workshop scene accepted a plea deal Monday.
According to a spokesperson for Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Bradley Sachs, the owner of Actors Alley, pled no contest to one of the three misdemeanor counts with which he had been charged. This is the first plea deal in the city's case against five prominent casting firms and 25 individuals allegedly involved in schemes that violate the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, a rarely enforced state labor law.
Sachs was placed on summary probation for 36 months and sentenced to either spend 10 days in county jail or perform 150 hours of community service. He also will be compelled to pay investigative costs and agrees to not be involved in any talent training service for the duration of his probation period.
"This successful result in our prosecutions alleging casting workshop scams is due to the great work of my team on this issue, headed by Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert," said Feuer soon after the plea deal was announced. "Our prosecutions have curtailed business practices we allege unfairly prey on the hopes and dreams of aspiring performers."
Sachs did not respond to a request for comment. The Actors Alley has closed since charges were filed earlier this year. The Casting Society of America also declined to comment, noting that Sachs is not a CSA member.
Feuer's ongoing undercover investigation became public in July 2016 after the CSA told its members in an email that colleagues had been contacted about their participation in workshops. The prominent casting workshop companies — Actors Ally, The Actors Link, The Actor's Key, Your Studio Productions and The Casting Network — were named. (The Actors Link is now known as Ace Studios, and the Actor’s Key has closed.) The owners and operators of each of these businesses were charged, as were casting associates who work with them.
At a press conference in February during which Feuer announced the criminal charges, the city attorney expressed his commitment to pursue serious penalties.
"Today we filed charges," he said. "I hope the filing of these charges against five casting agencies, these so-called casting workshops and against a number of individuals — more than two dozen altogether — will send notice that any talent scam will aggressively be pursued by this office. And as a result, this will cease. I will name them. Each defendant could face jail time and significant penalties."