UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
NATIONAL TALENT ASSOCIATES, INC., et al.
Civil Action No. 96-2617 (KSH)
Plaintiff, the United States of America, having filed a Complaint for Monetary Civil Penalties, Injunctive and Other Relief, and defendants having answered; and the parties having presented evidence at trial; and it appearing from all the evidence that defendants have violated and, unless restrained by Order of this Court, will continue to violate an Order entered by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") on November 26, 1975 (Docket No. 8960), 86 F.T.C. 1201 (1975), and a Modified Order entered on January 21, 1986, 107 F.T.C. 1 (1986) (hereinafter "the Modified Order"); it is therefore
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that:
I. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over all parties to this action.
II. The Complaint For Monetary Civil Penalties, Injunctive And Other Relief states a claim for relief against the defendants under the Federal Trade Commission Act, 5 U.S.C. § 45(l).
III. The defendants, National Talent Associates, Inc., a New Jersey corporation, National Talent Associates, Inc., an Illinois corporation (hereinafter collectively referred to as "NTA"), and Jerome P. Ashfield ("Ashfield"), individually and as an officer of NTA, consented to and are bound by the Modified Order. The evidence establishes that defendants have violated the Modified Order by, inter alia, (a) representing directly or indirectly that NTA and its salespeople have the "expertise essential for the judging and selection of the most qualified persons to be used as models, actors, actresses or entertainers in the commercial advertising, talent, modeling or entertainment industries" (Paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Modified Order); (b) representing directly or indirectly that a person's chances for selection by any person or agency "will be aided, increased or enhanced by entering into a contract with National Talent Associates, Inc." (Paragraph 10 of the Modified Order); (c) representing directly or indirectly that persons placed under contract by NTA can "reasonably anticipate significant or substantial earnings from paid employment in the commercial advertising, talent, modeling or entertainment industries as models, actors, actresses, or entertainers" (Paragraph 18 of the Modified Order); (d) making claims or other representations, directly or indirectly, that "contradict the information required to be disclosed in the 'Important Information' document" (Third "IT IS FURTHER ORDERED" Paragraph of the Modified Order); and (e) failing or refusing to refund within 10 business days after the receipt of a valid notice of cancellation by a buyer all payments made under the contract or sale (subparagraph (g) of the eighth "IT IS FURTHER ORDERED" Paragraph of the Modified Order).
IV. Effective sixty (60) days from the entry of this Order, the defendants and each and all of their officers, agents, servants, employees, successors, assigns, heirs, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, who shall have received actual notice of the contents of this Order by personal service or otherwise, shall be permanently restrained and enjoined under the provisions of 15 U.S.C. § 45(l) from making any in-home, in-office, or other in-person sales presentation to a prospective consumer unless the company has demonstrated to the satisfaction of FTC staff that it has instituted reforms that will prevent future violations of the Modified Order, and has received from FTC staff written confirmation that this condition has been met.
V. The defendants and each and all of their officers, agents, servants, employees, successors, assigns, heirs, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, who shall have received actual notice of the contents of this Order by personal service or otherwise, are permanently restrained and enjoined under the provisions of 15 U.S.C. § 45(l) from engaging in any of the following acts or practices:
VI. Defendants NTA and Ashfield, and their successors, heirs and assigns, shall notify the Associate Director for Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580, at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in defendants' business including, but not limited to, merger, incorporation, dissolution, assignment, sale that results in the emergence of a successor corporation, sale that results in the transfer of substantially all assets, the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary or parent, or any other change that may affect the defendants' obligations under the Order of Permanent Injunction. Defendant Ashfield also shall notify the Associate Director for Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580 within thirty (30) days of the discontinuance of his present business or employment and of each affiliation with a new business or employment.
VII. Defendants, their officers, successors and assigns shall, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order of Permanent Injunction, provide a copy of this Order to each of their officers, agents, servants, employees, salespeople and distributors, secure from each such person a signed statement acknowledging receipt of a copy of this Order, and shall, within ten (10) days of complying with this paragraph, serve upon the FTC, at the address set forth in paragraph VI above, an affidavit setting forth the fact and manner of their compliance, including the name and title of each person to whom a copy of the Order has been provided. Defendants, their officers, successors and assigns shall also provide a copy of this Order to, and obtain a signed statement acknowledging receipt of a copy of this Order from, each person who becomes affiliated with any defendant as an officer, agent, servant, independent contractor, employee, salesperson, or distributor in connection with the business of selling personal service or management contracts. Such statements shall be retained for as long as any such person remains affiliated in any way with the defendants, and for five years thereafter.
VIII. Defendants, their successors and assigns, shall maintain and make available to the FTC, within seven (7) days of the receipt of a written request, business records demonstrating compliance with the terms and provisions of this Order of Permanent Injunction, including, without limitation, complete customer records.
IX. Within ten (10) days of defendants' receipt, from any source, of a written consumer complaint, defendants shall furnish a copy of such complaint to the FTC, at the address set forth in paragraph VI above. Defendants' response to such complaint, if any, shall be furnished to the FTC within ten (10) days of its issuance.
X. This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for the purposes of enabling any of the parties to this Order of Permanent Injunction to apply to the Court at any time for such further orders or directives as may be necessary or appropriate for the interpretation of this Order, for the enforcement of compliance therewith, for the redress of any violations thereof, or for appropriate modification thereof.
XI. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees in the within ligation. Case closed.
Dated this 3rd day of May , 1999.
The Honorable Katherine Sweeney Hayden