Model Select International
By Arthur O. Murray
Business North Carolina
how North Carolina’s attorney general says Model
Select International Inc.’s pitch worked: The
Charlotte-based agency would advertise that it was
searching for models.
500 or so people, mostly 18- to 25-year-old women,
would show up at its recruiting meetings. Only the
most promising, they were told, would be called back
four out of five were asked back. The wannabes were
told that they needed photographs to show potential
clients and steered to photographers chosen by Model
were shown how to fill out time cards for assignments
that paid $150 an hour. They got jobs that paid $15
an hour to hand out headache powders at racetracks
or coupons at malls.
also stuck with $600 bills for photo shoots, though
they often didn’t get any prints. Those could
cost an additional $450.
In late May,
the attorney general’s office filed a complaint
in Wake County Superior Court against Model Select
and its co-owners, Rhea Lawson and Richard Hronik.
says the company, which has gone out of business, misled
applicants and made most of its money from selling
photos. Neither Lawson nor Hronik could be reached
it turns out, is the Paris of the Piedmont when it
comes to promotional modeling. It’s home to four
And Tom Bartholomy,
president of the Charlotte Better Business Bureau,
says his office gets more complaints about model agencies
than any BBB in the country.
Of this year’s
152 complaints through mid-June, more than two-thirds
were against Model Select.
Model Select International Complaint Letters