Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Hollywood Auditions in association with Hitech Networks aka Hollywood Agency LLC dba aka Michael Riley fake talent manager

Credit Card Fraud Complaints Filed Against Internet Talent Marketing Agency

California Boiler Room Run By Abnoxious, Rude, Fast-talking, Lying, Sleazy Men
"He screamed into the phone many times like I wasn't listening to him. He talked very fast like an auctioneer and many times I could not understand him."


Firm Uses Trick To Get Your Money: Asks For Your Credit Card To "Hold" A Spot When There Are No Spots To Hold

After Illegal, Unauthorized Withdrawls, Firm Refuses Refunds

Number of Clients Requesting Refunds (to this site alone): 6 (since July 25, 2005)

July 25, 2005

[Last Updated: October 02, 2005 ]

Hollywood Agency, LLC
20501 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364


Administrative Contact:
Max Davids [email protected]
Hitech Networks
20501 Ventura Blvd., suite 150
woodland hills, ca 91364
Phone: 8189175271

Hollywood Auditions was previously caught in criminal activity. Easybackground Check exposed the company's illegal sales and illegal business model, and Michael Riley even admitted his company broke the law. That admission is in writing. He wrote that his lawyer told him his company was illegal. He scrambled to change his website so he would not get arrested and go to jail.

As perfect evidence of his moral character or lack thereof, Riley expressed more interest in avoiding jail time than refunding consumers. The law is the law, however. Talent managers are not allowed to charge advance fees for promoting. If you paid Michael Riley or Hollywood Auditions, you are eligible for a refund, up to three times what you paid. Email for more information.

Hollywood Auditions has committed fraud by misleading the public into believing it is a talent agency using the business name Hollywood Agency LLC when it does not have a talent agency license. This fraud was designed to make you think you are closer to getting work through the company than you really are.

Michael Riley claimed he was a talent manager, but nobody knows if he has any legitimate professional experience as a talent manager in Hollywood, background working with a successful talent manager, or professional experience acting, or if he has represented any famous models or actors. Did he just make up the title of "manager" to mislead the public?

The complaints about this company make it look like a telemarketing scheme. Just about everything happens on the phone, hard sales pressure, stupid attitude, etc., or on the internet.

Actors and models who have had dealings with Michael Riley say he is a complete A-hole. He acts like his time is so important (much more important than yours), like he's a big shot Hollywood agent (LOL!), when the truth is, in Hollywood circles, he's nobody. There was no endorsement of his little telemarketing business from anyone who is anyone on his website. When you know Riley's background and illegal business, is it surprising?

Michael Riley calls you up without being asked--and where the hell does he get your phone number from in the first place?!--and then, if you decline his offer of a virtually worthless product/service to thousands of people, he gets pissed off, like you've just wasted his time, when the fact is he just wasted your time.

Consumer Comments

A few months back, I received an e-mail, then a call from "Hollywood Auditions." I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but I know when something is a scam, and when I called him on it, it became a very interesting conversation.

This was an e-mail I wrote the company and Michael after my phone conversation. He did write me back and said something like "Good luck honey w/ your career... We're Hollywood Agency LLC."

OMG! Was that a threat??? What an Idiot!!

Please feel free to pass this message along to Michael Riley (socalled manager) and anyone else who works at this "Company." I received the typical e-mail you send out to I'm sure hundreds of hopeful actors, models, etc. The e-mail sounds so professional and friendly, I thought what the heck why not call to curb my curiosity.

I spoke with Michael Riley, who is way to overconfident, it's pathetic arrogance. He was willing to make me a client by one conversation over the phone, no interview, audition, meeting, etc.

He asked me if I was "serious about my career, and if I don't waste his time, he won't waste mine." However, he has no problem, along with everyone else I'm sure that works there, to waste $500 of my money.

Oh wait, I'm sorry he corrected me, its only "$370." He made it very clear that I have no experience whatsoever, but I have enough experience to know you don't pay an agency, I'm sorry "Managers" a dime besides 10-15% of what I make. Yeah, you get us an audition, but we get the job, not you.

Also, there's no "Client #" we do have names. Once I told Michael very politely that I was not interested, he continued to rant and yell, which I found very amusing and had a hard time controlling my laughter.

What's one "client," anyways, when you have over a hundred naive actors who are chasing a dream, and too blinded by their hopeful future to see what you guys really are.

My favorite part is when I was told I have no experience because I don't have my SAG card yet. People sleep w/ PA's to get their card, if that's the experience you mean, no thank you.

He also told me to cancel the two interviews I have next week with two very well-known agencies, because I will be wasting their time and I will never make it without a SAG card, actually never make it period. Because these agencies are already aware that I'm cardless, I'll be sure to pass that message along to them.

I have no idea why thousands of you people and companies exist and how you sleep at night knowing that you live and work a scam. Had Michael been a real "Manager," I don't believe he would have acted the way he did and get so unbelievably defensive when a woman he doesn't even know, politely declines his offer.

I especially liked the part when he hung up on me. Very professional. People can do and be whatever they want to be. You go to college, become a teacher, doctor, nurse etc. However, as an actor there's no paved road or way. We work our ass off in this mirage of a town, put up with the wannabes who would rather be famous than act, and always fall for that one scam by greedy emotionless "managers, agencies" that rips them of their hard earned money.

No one can help what they want to do in life, including actors, but do you people actually wake up one day and say, "Hey, I'm going to take advantage of naive actors and models, pretend I'm someone really important and they won't make it without me?"

Well, I know better, and one day a lot more will too, and you people won't exist.

Thank you Michael for the lovely conversation. It brought a little humour to my day. It's sad I wasted five minutes of my time writing this, but as Michael said, "I'll never make it anyways," so I guess I have all the time in the world.

Thanks again for giving me a good laugh and story to tell people.

Consumer Complaint

There was not a specific contract issued because, as far as I understand, these were issued to establish a payment plan for their services.  I, however, paid one time -- in full.  The only record I have of this transaction, unfortunately, is my cc statement.

I was told Agency, LLC provided casting notices and job opportunities.  Since their talent pool included models appearing on the runway for top designers and actors in major motion pictures, they were supposedly far superior to Backstage.

But this is simply untrue. Many of the auditions are nothing more than "cattle calls." Others include contact information that is, at best, mistaken -- if not made up all together.

Some even include deadlines that have already past. Even though I was assured that I would be kept "very busy" with work, in the past six months I have not seen one quality audition.


A Match Made in Heaven

Rebuttal - February 1, 2007

I just read your background report on this comopany and i just thought id let you know that its wrong. I've been a client of theirs for quite some time and never had a problem nor have i been scammed.

Yes i had to pay $370 but thats for maintenance fees of your online portfolio/ resume which they update and change for you whenever u need it much like other modeling schools.

The girl who made the complaint and said it was a scam must have been ugly or just plain dumb not to get an audition or a job through because since ive been with them i've had several auditions and many successful jobs.

So i dont really appreciate someone bashing them with lies and slander when i as a client have had a lot of success and thats the side people should be hearing, not the side where some poor ugly girl thought she got yelled at over the phone and decided to cry fraud!

thanks for listening!

Elizabeth S.
hollywood auditions client

sent in from "Brandon Quinn" <[email protected]>

More information

See also:

HiTech Hollywood Auditions BBB Complaints

Better Business Bureau Info

hollywoodauditionscomplaintsbbb.pdf (as of Oct. 1, 2005)

Refunds: Note about half of the complaints to the BBB resulted in refunds. If you try that route, and don't succeed, email EBC.

Notice that Mike Riley, that POS, after committing credit card fraud, makes threats:

"Consumer states you claim to send pictures and infor to casting agents for film/TV. Consumer states she was interested in your services and had not yet sent the application and which indicates all sales are final once received by Hitech. Consumer states she gave you her credit info and subsequently a few days later she cancelled your services.

Consumer states she contacted you in regards to this cancellation as she had not received any services at all by you as she did not send an application and you charged her Visa card anyways. Consumer is dissatisfied as Mike Riley refused to refund her even though he has no signed documents which put her into contract and threatened to put a freeze her credit for 7 years."

If Riley makes this type of threat against you, tell him you'll file a complaint against him with the police, and a credit card fraud complaint.

Notice in another BBB complaint, "Company states consumer disputed all 3 $149 payment through her credit card and won." In other words Hollywood Auditions says you can do a chargeback with your cc company.

Also notice in another BBB complaint: "Company states the customer . . . disputed the charge with her bank, ther[e]by receiving the full fee back." Hollywood Auditions says you can do a chargeback with your bank.

Jesse Kline / Hollywood Auditions Reviews:;f=1;t=000629

See also Criminal Charges Filed Against Owner of Models International

Backstage Comments

It's high time Back Stage did a report on this company. Contact Laura Weinert or one of their reporters. Or your local news station.