It sure is an ugly scam.
New York authorities this morning busted a Long Island modeling agency, filing fraud and grand larceny charges against the owner and three others accused of profiting off people hoping for stardom.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is scheduled to lay out the scheme during a noon news conference. Officials tell ABC News the modeling agency, New Faces Development Center, took fees from unsuspecting would-be stars and made specific promises their faces would appear in magazines and catalogues. Those promises, investigators allege, were bogus.
"Dozens of clients" were defrauded by the agency "overcharging for photo shoots, misrepresenting the terms of contracts, and promising clients lucrative roles and modeling jobs for their children that never existed," Rice's office said in a news release today.
Three people surrendered to police this morning and are to be arraigned later. A fourth, the owner of the company, was also scheduled to surrender but did not. He's being sought by police right now.
So far, detectives said the alleged scammers bilked families out of $250,000 total, though that sum is expected to rise to $400,000 or more as additional victims come forward. The suspects allegedly scammed 60 families or more.
The agency's phone system was not working this morning and would not connect calls seeking comment.
Editor's note: ABCNews.com incorrectly identified the agency as New Faces Models & Talent in an earlier version of this story. New Faces Models & Talent is not a target of the prosecution.