The Attorney General says Iowans who hoped to become the next Ashton Kutcher and make it big in modeling were taken for thousands of dollars by an Urbandale modeling agency. A-G spokesman Bob Brammer says the owner of the Lauren Ashly agency in Urbandale has been ordered to stop its business after the state filed a consumer fraud lawsuit. Brammer says some 120 people paid the agency on the promise the company would promote them as models. He says all the company provided was a composite photo that cost around 240 dollars after the people had paid about one-thousand dollars each. Brammer says the owner of the company, Richard Hronik, had set up similar operations in Cedar Rapids and was also being sued by the North Carolina Attorney General. He says each of the three operations were the classic modeling scam where the people were exploited on the promise they would become rich models. Brammer says the agency allegedly told the potential models false success stories about others who had signed up and succeeded. He says Hronik admitted that they said models in their Cedar Rapids office had gone on to lucrative modeling contracts when it was a total fabrication. Brammer says the company was ordered by a judge to send out all the photos promised by the agency and to pay back the money they took. He says getting the money may be a problem.He says money was not included in the judgment, because they’re not sure where the money is. He says those who have a claim can take the company to small claims court as they have admitted to making false claims. For more information on the case you can contact the Attorney General’s office.
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