Back in 2002, thousands of models sued a number of major modeling agencies for essentially cheating them out of money. According to court documents, the models the agencies, which include Wilhelmina, Ford, IMG, Next and Click, for:
1. conspiring to set the fees they each charge to models, and to fix other terms and conditions of the models' contracts, in violation of federal antitrust law;
2. concealing their unlawful conduct by drafting contracts purporting to characterize themselves as "managers" and disavowing any state licensing requirements – while advertising themselves as "agencies" and admitting (in court documents and elsewhere) that they regularly procure employment for models for a fee, making them employment agencies as a matter of law;
3. knowingly violating state law limiting the fees that Defendants, as employment agencies, can charge; and
4. deliberately violating their fiduciary duties to their models through various other unlawful practices, such as earning undisclosed profits from third parties, billing models for phony expenses, making a profit from services required to be provided at cost, and imposing excessive charges and fees, as detailed below.
The moral of this story . . . read the fine print and always look at your statements!!