The Screen Actors Guild is in the process of revoking the franchise for talent agency Ambrosio/Mortimer & Associates' New York office, which closed its doors in November.
"The State of California revoked their employment agency license, and that automatically terminates their SAG franchise in Los Angeles," John Sucke, SAG/NY's executive director, told Back Stage. "In New York, because of the different rules, we have to bring the agency to arbitration in order to lift the franchise. We have filed to do it, but it's more time-consuming."
Sucke said SAG filed papers with the American Arbitrary Association, which has offices all over the country. "We wouldn't have needed to file if they had voluntarily surrendered their franchise, but to take it away, we need to follow due process." He added that he didn't "see any substantial impediment" to the process.
SAG's move to rescind the talent agency's franchises followed several months of investigation. According to SAG, the agency's co-founder, Meg Mortimer, last year "provided evidence that checks were drawn on the client trust account for Mr. [Louis] Ambrosio's personal use."
The guild has claimed that Ambrosio/Mortimer failed to pay more than $225,000 due to clients for acting jobs booked by the agency.
Ambrosio, who was in charge of the LA office, reportedly shut its doors in October afer five agents walked off the job. Both offices are now "officially closed," according to SAG.
The guild has reached a "custodial agreement" with the agency, providing "the immediate turnover of funds in AMA's possession or control" to a SAG-appointed custodian "for distribution to SAG members," according to The Hollywood Reporter