Kids.com LLC & National Talent Associates: What Do They Have in Common?
Larry Bagwell. Kids.com perpetuates the National Talent Associates scam. For over thirty years this child modeling scam has been operating in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. Dateline NBC investigated. The FTC sued. The DOJ took over. Then they changed the name of the company to keep the scam going. Millions of dollars in upfront fees. Scamming children and their parents. Uses mail fraud. Operating an unlicensed employment agency.
Kids.com: "The business practices are very different between the two companies."
"Um, uh, um, uh, can I get back to you on that?"
"National Talent Associates preyed on parents' pride in their children. NTA and Ashfield blatantly ignored our previous orders and continued to do business as usual." -- Jodie Bernstein, Director of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
"The defendants and each and all of their officers, agents, servants, employees, successors, assigns, heirs, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, who shall have received actual notice of the contents of this Order by personal service or otherwise, are permanently restrained. . .
"Defendants NTA and Ashfield, and their successors, heirs and assigns, shall notify the Associate Director for Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580, at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in defendants' business including, but not limited to, merger, incorporation, dissolution, assignment, sale that results in the emergence of a successor corporation, sale that results in the transfer of substantially all assets, the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary or parent, or any other change that may affect the defendants' obligations under the Order of Permanent Injunction." -- FTC Order of Permanent Injunction
Larry Bagwell: "They were in the same business. When they went out of business, we did purchase some assets from them." (#Delete)
How many is "some"? Just about ALL. The entire client list, every office, the phone numbers, the domain name. What was that? A "sale that results in the transfer of substantially all assets."
"Deceptive modeling agencies prey on parents' pride and children's innocence, bilking consumers out of hundreds or thousands of dollars in the process. This type of fraud is especially troubling as it strikes at the most vulnerable of our society – our children." — Charlie Mattingly, President, Better Business Bureau, Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky.
Terri Gruca: "Can you tell me how many of your kids have gotten jobs?"
Larry Bagwell: "I'm . . . I'm busy now."
|National Talent Associates||Kids.com LLC|
|Opened in 1966,1 Closed in mid-19992||Opened in mid-19993|
|Unknown employees||National Talent Associates employees4|
|Main office in Fairfield, NJ5||Main office in Fairfield, NJ6|
|Two offices in NJ||Two offices in NJ|
|Office in NY||Office in NY|
|Office in Chicago, IL||Office in Chicago, IL|
|Office in MN||Office in MN|
|ntakids.com||ntakids.com (1999–2003); justourkids.com (1999–)|
|Targeted kids||Targets kids|
|Mail solicitation||Mail solicitation|
|Five-year contracts||Five-year contracts|
|Offered two kinds of contracts||Offers two kinds of contracts|
|$575 upfront fees7||$595 upfront fees8|
|Put child's picture onto their website||Puts child's picture onto their website|
|Thousands of clients||Thousands of clients|
|Millions in revenue||Millions in revenue|
|99% of clients did not earn more than upfront fees9||Refuses to release failure rate information|
|99% of clients scammed||Refuses to release failure rate information|
|Over 40,000 scammed (1990-1998)||Refuses to release failure rate information|
|15% commission on booked jobs10||15% commission on booked jobs|
|Unlicensed employment agency||Unlicensed employment agency|
|Hidden camera investigation by Dateline NBC11||Hidden camera investigation by WCCO12|
8. "Parents who paid $595 complain they were misled about children's chances." (#Delete)
9. In a Los Angeles Times article, "Not All Talent Scouts Behave Like Model Citizens" (Oct. 26, 1994), Jerome P. Ashfield, the leader of National Talent Associates, confirmed as "accurate" the following statistics for the preceding five years (1990-1994):
- Number of clients: 23,310
Number of clients receiving paying work: 629
Number of clients receiving paying work over $500: 201
Success rate = 0.9%. (201/23,310)
Failure rate = 99.1%!
In a letter to prospective clients in 1999, National Talent Associates revealed their horrendous failure rate for the previous five years (1994-1998), the Non-Stop Disaster:
- Number of clients: 18,414.
Number of clients receiving paying work: 723
Number of clients receiving paying work over $500: 167
Success rate = 0.9% (167/18,414).
Failure rate = 99.1%!
The definitive link between National Talent Associates and Kids.com LLC: