Plea Deal in L.A. Talent-Scam Case
The defendant had been charged with 16 counts of violations of the 2009 Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act.
One of two alleged scam artists who were the first charged for violating a California law designed to protect performers has become the first to be sentenced under that law.
David Askayar, proprietor of Hollywood Stars Management Inc. and VIP Talent Web Inc., pleaded no contest Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to one count of operating an advance fee talent representation service and one count of operating a talent listing service without a bond. On the first count, Askayar was sentenced to 36 months summary probation, ordered to shut down his businesses and banned from owning, operating, or being employed by any talent service. On the second count, he was sentenced again to 36 months summary probation, ordered to serve 90 days in jail or 30 days community service and ordered to pay $819 in restitution to three victims and another $3,000 in investigative costs. (UPDATE: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Askayar had been ordered to pay $819,000 to victims. The actual amount is $819.)
Askayar and his two companies were charged in January on 16 counts each for violations of the 2009 Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act. Ricardo Macias, owner of ActorsOnSet.com, and Askayar became the first two alleged violators of the Krekorian Act to face charges. Macias’ case, which is unrelated to Askayar’s, is still being prosecuted by Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert, a driving force behind the law.
On Tuesday, the City Attorney’s office announced that Nicholas Roses, a 21-year-old talent manager based in Studio City, Calif., had become the third person to be charged under the Krekorian Act. Roses and his company, Roses Entertainment Group, each face seven counts related to the operation of an industry “boot camp” for child actors. Roses had been employed as a manager at Luber Roklin Entertainment, which represents actors such as Paul Walker and Stephen Moyer. On Thursday, Luber Roklin partner Matt Luber told Back Stage that Roses had been suspended from the company and has had no contact with its employees.