Krekorian Act

Talent Scams

The entertainment industry's proximity and prominence in California has bred consumer fraud schemes which are unique to the state. In one such scheme, the operators of a talent scam operators claim experience and connections with the entertainment industry, then tell a child (often after an audition) that they are destined for success in the entertainment industry—if they are able to meet the right people. The scam operators can arrange this meeting—in return for an exorbitant fee. This scheme targets well-meaning parents who want what's best for their children, who have been misled about their prospects in Hollywood by scam operators.

California's Krekorian Act

In 2009, the California Legislature passed the Krekorian Act in 2009 to outlaw this type of scam. (2009 Cal. Stat. ch. 286 at § 1 [“talent services [] have worked a fraud, deceit, imposition, and financial hardship upon the people of this state, particularly upon children and other minors”).) At the Krekorian Act's heart is its prohibition on advance-fee talent representation services, meaning a person who provides or offers one or more of the following services:
  • Procuring or attempting to procure an employment opportunity or an engagement as an artist.
  • Procuring or attempting to procure an audition for an artist.
  • Managing or directing the development of an artist’s career.
  • Procuring or attempting to procure a talent agent or talent manager, including an associate, representative, or designee of a talent agent or talent manager.
Cal. Lab. Code § 1702.1(a). An “‘[e]mployment opportunity’ means the opportunity to obtain work as an artist, whether compensated or not.” Cal. Lab. Code § 1701(c). An "audition" is "any activity for the purpose of obtaining employment, compensated or not, as an artist whereby an artist meets with, interviews or performs before, or displays his or her talent before, any person [] who has [] input into the decision to select an artist for an employment opportunity." Cal. Lab. Code § 1701(b). The Krekorian Act provides a right of action for damages "not less than three times the amount [] to []] the advance-fee talent representation service ," injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees and costs. Cal. Lab. Code § 1704.2. Preston Law Offices one of the few firms to have litigated a Krekorian Act case to class certification. (Cosio v. International Performing Arts Academy, LLC, No. CGC-16-551337 (Sup. Ct. San Francisco Sept. 11, 2018).)