Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

LeModeln Inc. (LeModeln Model and Talent Agency) [Boardman, Ohio] (Linda Weaver)

LeModeln Inc.
7536 Market St.
Boardman, Ohio 44512

Consumers report:

1. LeModeln charges upfront booking fees.

"I paid them $150 dollars at first, and every month you pay on the xth of the month. This month I paid $80; it is a payment plan. At that time when I first signed up, it was a lot of other people signing their kids up with the agency."

"... entered into a contract with Lemodeln, which includes a $290.00 per year "booking fee" for a minimum period of three years."

"She charges each client $29.00 per month and utilizes a "loan agency" to cover these fees. If the clients do not pay the loan agency the money they are turned over to collections and their credit scores are severly impacted."

It is a well-established business ethic of the modeling industry that modeling and talent agencies must not charge upfront fees.

"A reputable agent will not ask you for money until you are making money -- booking work as a result of the agency has made for you. That is the time to invest in a composite and in the agency book and head sheet. Even then you will probably not be asked for funds up front. These promotional expenses will be deducted from future paychecks." -- Natasha Esch, as president of Wilhelmina, one of the top New York modeling agencies, as quoted in The Wilhelmina Guide to Modeling.

2. LeModeln contracts for new models last three years.

The industry standard is one year. This gives the agency time to prove itself and protects models from overcommitting to an agency which won't get them any work.

3. LeModeln charges models and talent for photography.

Payment should be made directly to the photographer, not the agency, unless the agency deducts the photo expense from the model's first paycheck, i.e., after the model works.

4. Paying LeModeln $1,300.

This is far in excess of what models typically spend before working. A reasonable price for comp card photography is under $300; comp cards $100 for 100. Models do not normally pay upfront fees to an agency.

5. LeModeln asks for more money even after they have not found consumers work.


6. LeModeln said there was a lot of work available for babies.

"My daughter is x months old and they told me that it was a lot of jobs for babies. We paid for photography and signed her up -- that was over a month ago. But so far there seems to be no jobs for babies."

It is well known there is not a lot of work for babies. The FTC's model guide offers a special word to parents of infants and toddlers:

Think your child is model material? Bogus talents scouts do. And they'll gladly set up a professional photo shoot to allegedly help you get modeling and acting jobs for your tyke. Of course, they don't tell you that the market for infant models and actors is very small.
What's more, because an infant's looks change quickly, the photos become outdated. In truth, few infants are marketed with professional photos.
Legitimate agents, advertising agencies, casting directors and producers generally ask for casual snapshots of infants that have been taken by family members or friends.


There are complaints on your site about my agency that are not true. I can provide any proof to you that you need.

The first charge I would like to discuss is the claim that I charge upfront "booking fees". I do charge a headbook fee of $349.95 a year to be included in my headbook. This was just recently raised. It was $290.00 for years. This fee is to help cover the cost of getting headbooks out to our clients. We include talent in our headbooks that are emailed, put on disc, and sent out hardcopy. This does not include the talent in only one headbook, but in all the headbooks that are sent out that year.

The contracts that we offer are for one year or for three years. The talent does have an option. Their are no contracts longer than 3 years, so I have no idea where the claim of having to sign a contract for a minimum of 3 years comes from.

Many of the agencies I network with in New York and Cleveland charge registration fee to market talent ranging from $35.00 to $100.00.

We charge at the agency for photography because all photography and printing is done here. The fee for this is $650.00 for adults, and $375.00 for children. This fee covers make-up, photography and printing. All children's headshots are updated at no cost so that we can have current headshots. By doing the printing on site, parents are not paying for copies that may not be used quickly. We can always print the most recent headshot of the child.

The claim is that the person writing the complaint was put onto a payment plan, which we do offer, and still has paid over $1300.00. This is not accurate. Even if the first year's headbook fee, and photography was paid in full at the time of signing, the cost would only be $724.95. For down payment on a payment plan and photography, the cost incurred at the time of signing would only be $444.90. If headbook fee and photography were both put on payment plans, the upfront costs would be even less.

Even if when we don't have jobs coming in asking for babies, we still submit our little ones in our headbooks which go out to clients such as department stores, advertising agencies, and productions companies. We, in fact, just had one of our small children sign a contract with one of these companies.

We have a jobline which our talent are asked to call on a daily basis and call for submission to jobs. We do this so that we know that our talent is available for that particular job. We are not in New York or Los Angeles therefore we know that talent or parents have other jobs and are not always available.

General submission include all of our talent whether they have called the jobline and asked to be submitted or not. I also offer video taped auditions held at the office to save travel expenses.

The claim you have published on your site says that "I paid them $150.00 at first.... This month I paid $80.00; it is a payment plan. signed her up -- that was over a month ago." How do these figures add up to anywhere near $1300.00. Did you not notice this discrepancy before you published this complaint.

My job is to submit talent out for the jobs that are out there. I cannot ever guarantee that any talent of mine will ever get a job, because I don't choose who will get the jobs.

Within the last week, we have had talent in 2 local commercials, a feature film, a hair show, and a promotional job. The work is out there. I submit talent for the work, therefore I am doing my job.

Thank you for your time,

Linda Weaver, LeModeln, Inc.

Unanswered Questions

1. How many actors/models does Lemodeln represent?

2. How many of those actors/models has Lemodeln got work as models and actors?

3. What percentage of those actors/models has Lemodeln got work as models and actors earned more than they paid for photography, comp cards, registration, advertising, etc.?

4. Does Lemodeln make any money off models and actors before they get work and even if they don't?

Consumers have a right to know their potential for a return on investment if they get involved with Lemodeln and any conflicts of interest.


What is a photo mill?


Photos may be supplied by Talent. They do not have to buy them from my agency. Our agency only charges one dollar for a copy of their photo if we have to print them. And put the resume on the back of the photo which is updated every 30 days. The makeup artist is paid $35 and the photographer charges $65 to $100 depending on the photographer they use for their sitting fee and that includes a buyout for the copyright.

So as you can see we only recover the paper and ink. As I have said we get paid if they work: 20% nonunion and 10% if the job is union. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding. The models DO NOT have to buy their pictures from my resources. They can bring us their headshots or composite as they often do.

Thank You for your time.