In pursuit of her sport broadcasting dreams, an ex-NFL cheerleader almost wound up in a sex trafficking ring.
Brittney Cason, a sports radio personality in Charlotte, N.C., was offered a broadcasting contract with a major television network to cover the Olympics in Sochi. She went through four months of intensive interviews and sent a man reels of her work, only to find out that she was actually being screened by a con man associated with a sex trafficking ring.
“Given my background in sports broadcasting hosting a nationally syndicated motorsports show and working on sports talk radio, it made sense he was recruiting me,” Cason wrote on xojane.com.
Cason said that she researched the man that called himself the television station’s “talent acquisition agent,” and everything checked out.
“He seemed as legitimate as anyone I’ve ever worked with,” Cason wrote. “He had a website displaying his credentials and his Twitter validated his connection with the industry, including interactions with celebrities and other professionals, and someone I worked with even validated his work history.”
Cason was set to leave for Russia with her work visa, signed non-disclosure agreement and flight itinerary. A last minute request from the agent, however, made her hesitate.
He said the network was expanding the host team and asked if she had any girlfriends in the business that could join her. He followed up with the request by sending work visas for her friends.
“I spent four months applying and interviewing and he’s sending my friend a work visa without even seeing her work?” Cason wrote. “Now, my friend is really talented, but wanting her passport and social security number before her reel just seemed fishy to me.”
Cason and another reporter that was slated to work with the network then contacted the company directly. Their response was that they didn’t have anyone employed under the so-called agent’s name, and they advised the girls to contact the FBI and not to travel to Russia.
“Unfortunately I am not the daughter of Liam Neeson, so I wouldn’t have had a happy ending had I gotten on a plane,” Cason concluded.