Adkids Owner Former Agent of Chicago Modeling Agency Shut Down by Feds?

Documentary evidence links Susan Henrichs to National Talent Associates, the largest child modeling scam in U.S. history

Susan Henrichs, founder, owner, and president of the controversial Chicago-based advance-fee child modeling operation Adkids, has a plan for your child's future, but new information reveals she is a woman with a past.

Easy Background Check broke the story last year that Henrichs is a former employee of Kids.com, the other controversial advance-fee child modeling business in Chicago, and left the company with Kids.com's materials and ideas to start her own similar company in Chicago, also for kids, Adkids.

Easy Background Check has new information, going further back down the paper trail, linking Susan Henrichs to not only Kids.com, but its predecessor, the infamous National Talent Associates (NTA), the largest child modeling scam in U.S. history!

NTA, whose founder, owner and president was Jerome Ashfield, was sued three times for fraud by the Federal Trade Commission, operating in various cities, including Chicago, between 1966 and 1999. Finally, in 1999, following a Department of Justice intervention, child model scam artist Ashfield was banned from the modeling industry; NTA was shut down, so Ashfield sold its parts to his friend Alfred Bagwell.

A new document obtained by Easy Background Check shows that three modeling agencies operated at the exact same address in Chicago: National Talent Associates, Inc.; Model Agency, Inc.; and Kids.com. All three, according to state records, operated at 6326 N LINCOLN AVE.

A lot is already known about NTA and Kids.com. NTA, as noted, was owned by Ashfield. For many years, since the early 70s, the NTA accountant was Alfred Bagwell. At the time he was NTA's accountant, Alfred Bagwell was also the president of Model Agency, Inc., in Chicago, according to government records, operating at the exact same location as NTA: 6326 N LINCOLN AVE.

While Alfred Bagwell was president, the agent of Model Agency was none other than Susan Henrichs! This was back in 1992, 11 years before she started Adkids. This shows Henrichs has been an agent associated with the shady character Alfred Bagwell for many years, long before Kids.com started up. After NTA was shut down, Bagwell started the Chicago child model "management agency" Kids.com in 1999, picking up where NTA left off.

Susan Henrichs, according to Labor Department documents obtained by EBC, was the Director of Kids.com's Chicago office. She was fired, however, on January 27, 2003, Kids.com said. Bagwell accused her of leaving with David Laurino, a former employee of Kids.com, to start Adkids in the mould of Kids.com. Laurino himself was a former employee of NTA, a holdover.

Kids.com wrote that he had been employed on "7-5-99" as an interviewer. Kids.com opened its doors officially in mid-June 1999; Laurino and others stayed on. This was confirmed by the CEO of Kids.com in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported, "Some of National Talent's employees stayed on, too, Bagwell acknowledged."

Another government document places Henrich at the Kids.com office in early 2001. How much earlier did she start working at Kids.com Chicago? Was she there when Kids.com Chicago opened its doors in mid-1999? All this together raises the $64,000 question: Was Susan Henrichs, like David Laurino, with whom she started Adkids, also a former employee of NTA? Was she scamming thousands of parents in Chicago at NTA, like Laurino, all through the 90s, until the company she was running in Chicago was shut down by federal authorities?

Unless you believe two competing modeling agencies in Chicago operated at exactly the same address, 6326 N LINCOLN AVE., one by the company's president, the other by its accountant, the logical conclusion is Model Agency, Inc. was a dba for National Talent Associates. That strongly suggests Susan Henrichs was the agent of National Talent Associates for its Chicago office, i.e., director of the Chicago office for at least five years (1994-1999) before Bagwell bought the company, and he made her, whom he had known since at least 1992, the Director of Kids.com's Chicago office at the same location, keeping her position at the "new company" doing the same type of work.

When she worked at Kids.com, Henrichs was charging parents $595 in advance fees. When she started Adkids, and to this day, Henrichs, 52, is charging about the same, now more, $630. Some people never change.

Susan Henrichs has declined to comment about her past, but parents are advised to look into it and confront her personally and demand proof before they ask her to plan their children's future. If she is so on the up and up, why did she hire a scam artist like Laurino? Ask her.

Documents and details: adkids/

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