NS: Halifax-based modeling agent pleads guilty to fraud, theft

Ashley Thompson, Hants Journal
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Linda Buchanan, formerly of the Strut International Model & Talent Agency, has been accused of defrauding several clients and is scheduled to return to court for sentencing April 7.

Teagan Webb, 10, holds up one of two magazines that published a photo she modeled for at the age of seven.

[WINDSOR, NS] - A Windsor family is among a list of complainants closely following the court proceedings involving a disgraced Halifax-based modeling agent.

Linda Buchanan, formerly of the Strut International Model & Talent Agency, has been accused of defrauding several clients, including young Teagan Webb.

Teagan’s foray into the working world at the age of seven was short lived. The Windsor resident’s goal was to appear in a magazine, and she managed to exceed her own expectations with just one photo shoot.

Her picture was published in Chatelaine and Canadian Living after she was photographed playing soccer for a Government of Canada ad in December 2010.

The modeling gig paid $900, a small portion of which would go to Teagan’s agent, Buchanan.

Teagan didn’t receive a dime from the photo shoot. Instead, her parents eventually laid charges against Buchanan once the talent agent stopped responding to their requests for compensation.

Buchanan, who originally faced a total of 26 charges, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft, one count of fraud and one count of breach of probation in Halifax provincial court Jan. 28. She is scheduled to return to court for sentencing April 7.

Teagan’s father, Tom Webb, says he will be tasked with writing a victim impact statement in the meantime.

“She did plead guilty to a charge of theft related to the $900 she collected on Teagan’s behalf. My understanding is that the multiple charges were grouped together, and that theft-related charges were grouped into one, as were the fraud charges,” said Webb.

Webb urges any other parents with children interested in modeling to conduct extensive research before settling with an agent.

“Dig as deep as you can,” he said. “We did all the right things, checking with the Better Business Bureau, Googling the agency, et cetera, and things did look legitimate. It was after the fact that we learned that we had to dig deeper, do more Google searches to get a more accurate picture.”

Organizations: Strut International Model Talent Agency, Better Business Bureau, Google

Geographic location: WINDSOR, Chatelaine, Canada Halifax

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