Talent Manager Pat O’Brien Convicted in ‘Bait-and-Switch’ Scam

The 51-year-old pleads no-contest in multiple counts of duping Hollywood hopefuls

Last Updated: August 4, 2011 @ 4:08 PM

Veteran Hollywood Talent Manager Pat O’Brien has been convicted of violating the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009, for charging advanced fees to parents of aspiring child actors.

The 51-year-old pleaded no-contest to two counts, one of “operating an advance-fee talent representation service” and another of failing to pay the state labor commission a $50,000 for his operations, the city attorney’s office wrote in a Wednesday statement.

O’Brien has been ordered to pay $3,000 in what the release is calling a “bait-and-switch scam,” as well as three years probation — plus 90 days jail or 45 days of community service.

The case began in April 2010, when an Arizona mother moved herself and her 15-year-old son to Los Angeles in response to a teen sitcom audition at the Hollywood Center Studios lot.

O’Brien, operator of the Pat O'Brien Talent Management and Talent Marketing and Promotions, Inc,. took the boy on for a contract as his manager, charging $3,000 for a “photo shoot and acting classes” package. Two more families have come forward with similar allegations against O’Brien.

"In an effort to put a lengthy, painful trial with my family behind us, I agreed to plead no-contest to two minor business code violations," O'Briend told the L.A Times.

Last week, 21-year-old talent manager Nick Roses was convicted of almost identical charges and punishment. The Studio City-based operator of Roses Entertainment Corp. was ordered to pay a $10,700 restitution to his own set of three victims, as well as $2,000 in investigative costs to the City Attorney's Office, according to a press release.

The Talent Scam Prevention Act was established in 2009 to prevent such cases where talent management operators charge advance fees for dubious services.

“The act provides the tools they need to go after fraud artists who prey on children and others who are lured by promises of stardom and fame,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said in a about his act.
Roses reportedly ran a day-long “boot camp” for young aspiring actors, which parents complained was extremely disorganized, too crowded, and failed to provide its participants (ranging in age from 6 to 62) with adequate seating, food, water and breaks.

Many of the children became ill, including one girl who developed swollen lungs, hives and rashes, according to the release.