TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced a multimillion dollar settlement with entities doing business as InterFACE Talent and the entities’ president and CEO, Roman Vintfeld. The Attorney General’s Office obtained a stipulated permanent injunction and a final consent judgment against the defendants, resolving allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices in selling talent marketing services to Florida consumers.
InterFACE, a New Jersey-based talent company, allegedly falsely promised to help Florida consumers get modeling and acting jobs, but instead took large up-front fees for nothing more than photo shoots and introductions to industry professionals.
The final consent judgment includes the following actions:
· Imposes monetary obligations of $22 million in restitution, $3.5 million in civil penalties and $500,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs;
· Bans the defendants from engaging in acting, entertainment, modeling, singing or talent services of any kind in Florida;
· Prohibits making any false or misleading representations or omissions of material fact, when communicating with consumers in any future business;
· Bars any unlicensed business activity and any activities in violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and Florida Telemarketing Act; and
· Subjects the defendants to compliance with monitoring and reporting obligations.
The Attorney General’s Office received more than 200 complaints regarding this talent marketing scheme. Because the Attorney General’s Office obtained a freeze on assets existing at the time the case was filed, some funds are available for partial refunds to consumers. The remaining balance, based upon the defendants’ evidence of insolvency, will be sought through post-judgment proceedings to maximize potential future refunds. Consumers who filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office will receive instructions by mail indicating how to obtain refund checks.
To view the consent judgment, click here.
Attorney General Bondi’s Consumer Protection Division is the civil enforcement authority for all violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Division protects Florida consumers by pursuing individuals and entities that engage in unfair methods of competition or unconscionable, deceptive and unfair practices in any trade or commerce. The Division also often partners with other state attorneys general, other state agencies, and the federal consumer protection enforcement agencies in joint enforcement efforts. Since 2011, the Division has resolved more than 550 matters and generated more than $10 billion in recoveries. Approximately $9.8 billion of that total has been scheduled or has already been returned to the benefit of Floridians.