Friday, May 30, 2008

Attorney General Complaint Information

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

206-464-6684

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:

https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/ComplaintForm.aspx

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.

19 comments:

ljgossett said...

Fran,

I contacted the State Atty Generals office, and anything they do will take weeks/months... I believe that we should continue with legal action in the form of a class action lawsuit.

I am proceeding to that end.

Linda

Lauri said...

I'm in. There is a web site www.atg.wa.gov where you can log your complaint, but they did say that they can't help with the bankruptcy. Lauri

Darrin said...

Do we know for certain that a "bankruptcy" has truly been filed? If not, I wondering if there is a way we can check.

Darrin

Fran said...

I have googled US Bankruptcy filings in California and in Washington and I can't find one under Pacific Talent or Pacific Modeling and Acting. I am not sure if they haven't filed yet or if they plan on filing or if they have a different corporate name. To be quite honest, I am not sure a lawsuit will do much but at least the AG's office has a chance of putting them in jail. It is important to get as much information as possible to prove this was a scam - fraud is both a criminal and civil matter, whereas bad management and bankruptcy don't have much legal recourse.

Teresa said...

I filed my complaint with the AG last night...What I found was that PMAA opened business in our state March of 08. I gave them money on 2-3-08 before they were even filed as a business. I think there is some legal ground we can pursue, and Im not sure about bankruptcy, but I don't think he can escape this. He took our money and he ran.

Glenn said...

I am in too. I am filing this complaint online now. I really don't believe that any government agency is going to care about helping us.

Glenn

Gram said...

I also suggest contacting King 5 Investigators in Seattle - and Ken Schram - Channel 4 - with a whole lot of publicity, just maybe the AG's office will feel a little urgency in this matter.

Gram

russ said...

We too contacted atty gen. office by email. Interested in class action lawsuit too. Stunned and shocked! Our girl Kelsea(10)is so sad and so young to experience this. We haven't even began to process this. Please keep us posted.

minerva said...

Minerva,

I'm about to file my complaint too with the AG. Is there any way that we all get together? My e-mail mquintana98005@yahoo.com my phone 206-390-9752 It it totally unfair for our kids.

Linda W. said...

I filed today with the Washington state Attorney General's Office. I am getting ready to file with Florida.

Shauna361 said...

I just filed a complaint with AG and with the disputes department at my bank. I am in with any legal action. Linda if you would like some help please contact me via shashoni219@hotmail.com and put PMAA in the subject.

Shauna

Rich_Issaquah said...

All:

1. The complaint with the AG office, if the office investigates it, will only fine or bar the owner from conducting the business here in WA in the future. He will not be prosecuted or put to jail for running a scam, and we will not get the money back.

2. Publicity will be best (thru TV (KIRO, KOMO, etc), Radio will help put the pressure on the AG to investigate the case.

3. Class action lawsuit might be best, and we can go after the resources of the owner if he is running the scam.

4. Has anyone talked to Tatevik more about the owner operation to see if the US attorney can charge him with fraud, money laundering, etc, or the US postal service can charge him with mail fraud.

5. Can someone take a lead to set up a meeting so we all get get together and have a strategy session to get the money back.

Rich_Issaquah said...

My email address is richmwusa@netscape.net, and my cell phone number 425-591-9885.

Shauna361 said...

I just wanted to let everyone know that I contacted the New Movin 92.5 promotions director, Annie. I gave her the blog site and told her about our situation and how I was pretty sure I had heard the ad for the casting call for April on their station. She is investigating through her channels. If you heard it from another source, you should contact the source. I plan to contact some of the other radio stations.

Shauna

f0002416 said...

I looked at the US Courts website:

http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/

and couldn't find anything listed under Pacific Modeling or Stanley Robinson

PACER information is usually quite helpful.....it costs 8 cents per page after you establish an account, but it can be very informative.

Good luck and best wishes to all those affected.

KnPBryson said...

We just received an email from the Washington State Attorney General's office:

Your complaint submitted to our office regarding Pacific Modeling and Acting Academy has been assigned to me. I have contacted the business and requested a response to your complaint within 14 business days. A copy of your complaint was provided to the Business. I will contact you and inform you of the response. Normal complaint processing time is approximately 4-6 weeks due to the complexity and number of complaints our office receives, however, processing time may be longer during times when the volume of incoming complaints increases. Your patience is very much appreciated.

tiffany said...

I justed received a letter from the United States Bankruptcy Court for Debtor Stanley Chester Robinson ADA JPR....Robert F. Kidd, attorney for debtor, located at 825 Washington St. 2nd Floor
Oakland, Ca 94607. tel 510-987-8300
Meeting for creditors 12/17/08 at 2:30PM at the U.S trustee 1301 Clay Street. Room # 680N. Oakland Ca. 94612.
I believe there is a class action lawsuit is file at Santa Clara, California. I will check to find out.
Tiffany

tiffany said...

I justed received a letter from the United States Bankruptcy Court for Debtor Stanley Chester Robinson ADA JPR....Robert F. Kidd, attorney for debtor, located at 825 Washington St. 2nd Floor
Oakland, Ca 94607. tel 510-987-8300
Meeting for creditors 12/17/08 at 2:30PM at the U.S trustee 1301 Clay Street. Room # 680N. Oakland Ca. 94612.
I believe there is a class action lawsuit is file at Santa Clara, California. I will check to find out.
Tiffany

tiffany said...

I justed received a letter from the United States Bankruptcy Court for Debtor Stanley Chester Robinson ADA JPR....Robert F. Kidd, attorney for debtor, located at 825 Washington St. 2nd Floor
Oakland, Ca 94607. tel 510-987-8300
Meeting for creditors 12/17/08 at 2:30PM at the U.S trustee 1301 Clay Street. Room # 680N. Oakland Ca. 94612.
I believe there is a class action lawsuit is file at Santa Clara, California. I will check to find out.
Tiffany