A big-time scam artist was busted and fined close to $1 million for allegedly running a fake talent agency promising nonexistent work for aspiring models and actresses over the course of nearly six years, the Department of Consumer Affairs announced yesterday. That's a whole lot of useless headshots.
It's a classic tale of bait and switch: Bradley Poster, aka Brad West, Max Holden, and Mark West, ran the Midtown-based WMT Model & Talent Network, promising customers "professional connections in the modeling and entertainment industries" and "displaying lists of supposedly available jobs" in his office. He then charged aspiring stars a fee for headshots to post to his imaginary "jobs website," which helped approximately zero people get famous.
A handful of scathing Yelp reviews and a whopping seven dozen DCA complaints later, the agency is fining Poster $908,400 for operating an unlicensed agency. "To any business that still hasn’t gotten the message, I’ll say it again: any employment agency that takes advantage of job seekers, especially during these tough economic times, will answer to us," said DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. As for the scammed pretty young things: don't worry, they later gained some small measure of fame down at Camp Zuccotti.