HOLLYWOOD, CA (FOX 11) - A group of young aspiring entertainers are suing their landlord, an Emmy-award winning producer and his partner for what they say are deplorable living conditions at their Grace Avenue home in Hollywood.
Lawyer Eric Castelblanco represents the group of 18 residents suing Andre Bautista and Geoffrey Lichtman and says the men lured tenants into living in a vermin-infested decaying Hollywood home in exchange for training at a phony Hollywood academy called Artists Advantage Group Academy. The tenants say they were charged about $600 dollars a month for rent and schooling.
“Over time it wasn’t even an academy at all. There were no tools for us to use. There was no legitimate curriculum. There were no scheduled teachers," said tenant and aspiring musician Bobby Jones.
At one point, the residents say 34 adults were packed into the four bedroom dilapidated house.
The tenants say the men rent homes and then sublet them, and rent four other properties where they make similar promises.
They're now suing to get their rent back and money for a new place. They say they want to make sure nobody else is victimized.
“I would hate to see any other young aspiring actresses,actors,artists come to Hollywood and have to deal with this…what we’ve been through," said aspiring actress Sierra Renfro.
Calls put into Geoffrey Lichtman and the company that owns the property were not immediately returned.
There are several reports the landlord who won the Emmy, Andre Bauth, is in jail charged with stabbing his roommate.