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Students Say L.A. Film School Pulled a Fast One

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Los Angeles Film School and Los Angeles Recording School lure students with false claims about work placement and graduation rates, and maintain accreditation through deception, students say in a class action in Superior Court. Students say they paid $18,000 to $23,000 apiece in tuition.

Students say the Film School owns and operates the so-called "Recording and Engineering school," and charges $18,000 to $23,000 for a 900-hour program - but the class claims students do not really get 900 hours of instruction.

The two named plaintiffs say they enrolled in the school's "900-Hour Recording Engineer Program." The school told them that the "900 Program is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Continuing Education & Training," that the Los Angeles Recording School "maintained a placement percentage sufficient to achieve ACCET accreditation," and that its career development department oversees "a curriculum designed to prepare students for the pursuit of internships and entry level employment, including instruction about resume creation, interview techniques, and the professionalism required within the industry," according to the complaint.

Graduates receive a summary of the hours of instruction they "attempted" or that were "provided," but "not a single document ... demonstrates that any student was actually 'offered' 900 hours of instruction," the complaint states. The plaintiffs say they received 800 to 860 hours of instruction.

They say the school lures students by claiming that it is accredited by ACCET, but it employs deceptive practices to get that accreditation. They claim the school required all students to get business cards showing they were self-employed, and provided the cards to ACCET, leading the agency to believe that the students "were self-employed when in fact they were not."

The class claims the school ran "business card promotions" where it offered gift cards to Target and Best Buy if students signed self-employment forms. And it listed jobs at Apple and Guitar Center stores as "creative positions" when students were only sales clerks, according to the complaint.

When ACCET audited the recording school, "the student files which would not 'qualify' were simply pulled by the Career Development Dept., never shown to ACCET, thus reducing the overall number of students and increasing the placement percentage," the complaint states.

They claim that school canceled classes in which students did not test well, and regularly provided students with answers to test questions before exams.

The class seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and wants the defendants enjoined from "unfair, unlawful and fraudulent business acts and practices."

The class is represented by Mark Ozzello and Mikael Stahle with Arias, Ozzello, and Gignac.

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