This morning I called the Attorney General's Office and found out that to file a complaint, we need to call this group:
Consumer Resource Center for the Attorney General's Office
Press "0" when recording starts
Open 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
I called and spoke with the woman at the AG's office and she said to file a complaint on-line at this web site:
And I did just that. She said that each of us should file our own seperate complaints and that if we filed them today they would be input into the syste on Monday. Attachments can't be sent electronically, but we can deliver them to their office in the Bank of America center on 5th Street in Seattle.
Here is the information I put in my complaint:
Pacific Modeling and Acting Academy came to Seattle in February, 2008. All of their documentation indicated that they were new to the Seattle area but had been in business in California. They offered acting and modeling classes that seemed well-developed and well prepared.
They didn't have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau. They had four programs ranging price from $2900 to $9900 and the programs were either 6 months or 1 year. I signed my daughter up for a 1 year program for $7900 and was required to pay upfront.
Classes were to start in March at the Seattle location, but we received an e-mail indicating that the building was not ready and as an interim facility, the Bellevue Sheraton would be used. The classes in March, April and May took place but we received an e-mail yesterday, May 30th at 5:17 p.m. that PMAA had filed for bankruptcy and was out of business.
The owner of the business was disclosed as Stanley Robinson, and I searched for his name and discovered that he had basically pulled the same scam with a John Robert Powers franchise in Santa Clara, California. At that point, I called the Modeling Teacher who was also the Receptionist and Class coordinator and she was very upset and told me that she felt basically this had been a scam. Her name is Tatevik Aprikyan and she is very willing to help in any investigation and ultimately, help seek justice. Tatevik has the records of all of the familes that signed up, which program they signed up for and to provide any information about the organizational structure that she can.
A rough estimate that Tatevik and I developed is that PMAA collected up front over $1.5M from parents and spent less than $200K, so the bankruptcy looks very suspicious to say the least.
The AG's office will accept paper filings in person and I plan on bringing as much documentation as I can get my hands on, to them on Monday, June 2, 2008.