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City attorney files criminal charges against Hollywood talent manager

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has charged a veteran Hollywood talent manager with multiple counts of violating the state's talent-scam prevention law.

Patrick W. O'Brien, 51, operator of Pat O'Brien Talent Management and Talent Marketing and Promotions Inc., was charged this week with six criminal counts, including grand theft, false advertising, operating an advance-fee talent representation service and failing to file a $50,000 bond with the state Labor Commission.

The charges stemmed from a complaint filed by an Arizona mother who moved to California with her 15-year-old son after he was invited by O'Brien's group to audition for a part in a teen sitcom project. The mother alleged that the audition was a ploy to sign a management contract with O'Brien and that she paid nearly $3,000 for a photo shoot and acting classes. He later refunded her most of the money, the city attorney's office said.

If convicted on all counts, O'Brien could face up to five years in jail and $51,000 in fines for conducting a "bait-and-switch scam on an aspiring actor and his mother," according to the city attorney's office.

O'Brien said in an interview Tuesday that the criminal charges were baseless. "I've been in this business for 21 years and I've never had a situation like this,'' he said. "The city attorney's office is trying to regulate the business so much, it's making it difficult for legitimate companies to operate."

The case is the fourth one that the city attorney's office has filed under the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009, which prohibits agents, managers and others representing talent from charging fees other than commissions, among other requirements. Last week, a Studio City-based talent manager and his company Roses Entertainment Group were charged with multiple criminal counts; they were accused of operating an industry "boot camp" for children that the city attorney said placed several minors at risk of harm. 

-- Richard Verrier 

Comments () | Archives (20)

Seriously? What kind of an idiot mother uproots herself and kid to move to another state based on the kid trying out for a sitcom? What a moron. What ever happened to buyer beware and using a little common sense? If $3,000 could guarantee "stardom" wouldn't everyone be signing up? What a tool.

Sounds like another disappointed child actor pimp...

If you're a "legitimate" business, then file your $50K bond as required under California law, m'kay?

the city prosecutor needs to feed off of someone. the idea is they bully the citizen to settle.

it's like in the soviet union, the gulag system, where the ruling class (in this case the cops etc) feed off of the innocent.

My manager is legit and has never asked me to pay anything for pictures or workshops. He suggests photographers I can go to and he suggests workshops, but it's MY choice and I don't pay him. If I book a job, he takes his percentage. Just like my agent does. If Pat has been charging people upfront for photos and workshops, then he is definitely breaking the law and has been for "21 year". Perhaps that's why he's had many businesses with different names. $3,000??? Really Pat? That's just outrageous.

We need lawyers to sue people to protect us from the idiots amongst us who pay thousands of dollars to talent agents to make their children a star.

In other words O'Brien has been running his talent scam for 21 years. cheating aspiring kiddie actors and other would be actors out of countless thousands, perhaps several millions of dollars, therefore the penalties should be higher! how about 50 years of watching re runs of Father Knows Best, The Price Is Right, and The Gong Show! for community service he should made to change bed pans at the old actors home! Bad Boy that one!

These scams have been operating in Hollywood for decades. It is a positive thing that it's finally being cleaned up. Thousands of individuals head to Hollywood, Burbank, Studio City and Culver City looking to get in the Dream Factories, but few make it. The so-called "talent managers" see the seekers (and their parents) as easy prey; they are disgusting parasites.

Well, what do you know... They are finally enforcing laws already on the books. What a novel idea. This guy has been getting away with this for 21 years??? He's proud enough of it to boast about it for all the world to hear. Sounds like a bottom feeder to me. Throw the book at him and all the others like him. There's no place in this town for any of them.

My child has been with Pat for over 3 years. He has never asked for a dime. He gets his cut when she works. I trust in his company and feel this is wrong. It sounds like this ladys son did not get a starting roll in a feature movie..Go figure.

I met Pat at a beauty pageant back in August 2010. He was a judge. He had his "Girls"from his talent agency in the pageant. His girls won. In fact, his "star" girl won the Biggest Title. You could see the politics and the results before they even announced it. I did not trust him when he gave his "Come join me speech", and I am glad I didn't.
Glad they city is cleaning up money thieves like this man and the companies he has represented.


These laws have changed. On the California DLSE website, you can find out who is a licensed agent AND who has the $50,000 manager's bond. Surprise! Not too many people who are taking a commission have either.

Here is where you can find whether an agency/agent is either licensed or has posted a bond:

I enrolled my daughter after meeting Pat at the kids and teens audition in Hollywood. After interviewing him and doing some research online I decided to switch her management company from a previous one that was not in the L.A area. His job was to get my kid prepared to get picked up by an Agent and that is exactly what he did. All of the kids that were signed up with him that didnt already have agents were encouraged to come to workshops with their families so that we could be informed about what to expect and what to watch out for in the industry. These workshops were conducted by guests that are actively working in the industry and we were encouraged to ask questions, go to websites where we could get more info and so forth. I'm sure there was nothing going on that wasnt announced in the open and Pat has been such a generous and encouraging influence to the kids.
So many people bring their kids closer to where the business is to increase their chances of success, invest in their kids acting classes, and spend on pictures if they want. I've done it for my kid and plan on putting her in more classes this summer because I know its good for her development and it will help her be more confident when she goes to auditions.

My daughter has been signed with Pat for the last 1 1/2 years. He has never asked us for money for anything like photos and acting classes. How dare you people say things about Pat when you don't even know him! He has always had time to answer any questions I have about anything. This woman and her son are the bottomfeeders here! Anyone who would move from Arizona to California just for an audition is an idiot.

im shocked, pat was also my talent manager i dont even know how to take this...

Come on people, The city attorney is a moron, he has no idea what he is doing, he has no idea how this industry works, he should back off !!! of legitimate businesses... We know the city of LA needs money and he will do whatever it takes to get it( even play this stupid games).
Go after the big fishes, the ones that are a true rip off "John Casablancas, Robert Powers, the big performing art schools"
that make you pay thousands of $$$$ to sign up w/ false promises...

That mom is an idiot, any parent who moves from another state for "One Audition" PLEASE!!!
She should be fined, She is trying to live of her child n since it did not work
Lets go talk to another idiot "The city Attorney" who has no idea what he is doing.
They should assign someone to implement, this laws who actually knows about the Entertainment Industry, that way everyone would have a fair shoot!!!

I just checked this guys IMDBPro profile. He has four clients who have virtually no credits.

Is it against the law to be a crappy manager? I don't think it should.

But the City Attorney is just using this law to raise his profile to run for state wide office, look up on YouTube his press releases. I can't believe he did not break his arm patting himself on the back.

To all the other Talent Managers out there, it only cost about 2,000 bucks to get a bond, follow the law for goodness sake.


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