PhotoWashington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a consumer complaint against a man who allegedly carried out a scheme in which he posed as a woman and claimed to run a Seattle talent agency that could connect women to high-paying jobs in the adult entertainment industry.

In fact, says Ferguson, Michael-Jon Matthew “Matt” Hickey, did little more than deceive his victims into posing for nude photos and having sex with him.

“This is one of the most egregious scams I’ve seen as Attorney General,” Ferguson said. “Beyond the monetary damage his victims suffered pursuing the defendant’s fictional job opportunities, they endured emotional trauma and unconscionable loss of privacy through his deception.”
 
Hickey posed as a woman named Deja Stwalley, contacting women via social media sites and claiming to run a “woman-owned” talent recruiting company called New Seattle Talent. Instead, Hickey allegedly convinced his victims to pose for nude photos and have sex with him as part of a phony “audition” process.

Facebook profile

Beyond the Stwalley profile, which was deliberately cultivated with more than 1,000 friends, Hickey further created a veil of legitimacy with fake business websites, email addresses, and a Google Voice number with a Las Vegas area code.
 
Hickey identified young women between the ages of 17 and 25 on Facebook, contacting them through Stwalley’s profile and presenting them with an opportunity to audition for a local indie/alternative adult film studio. Stwalley assured many women that they “TOTALLY have the look they’re going for” and could earn anywhere from $1,200 to $3,500 a day. To be considered for these upcoming opportunities, all they needed to do was “audition with one of our specially chosen ‘hunks’.”
 
When the women showed up for their "auditions," Hickey identified himself as Stwalley's photographer, shooting photos that were supposedly “for the purposes of scouting proofs and reference material for employment only.”
 
In fact, Hickey used these photos for his own purposes, and to this day, the photos still appear online, Ferguson said. 
 
Finally, prospective actresses auditioned by having sex with Hickey, Ferguson said. “Stwalley” told women that the sex was an “attitude test” necessary to secure jobs. Stwalley explained that Hickey’s written review of each woman’s sexual performance would be included in her talent portfolio.
 
In reality, Hickey never made any effort to find work for his victims, and he had no contacts or experience in the adult entertainment industry.

Phony profile

PhotoHickey also created a second fake profile named Chrissy Baaten to serve as an endorsement of Stwalley and her business. That profile was registered with the email address fakegirl@matthickey.com, the attorney general said.
 
The complaint asks the court to order Hickey to stop his deceptive practices, provide restitution to victims, and impose civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation. Each unfair or deceptive act Hickey committed in furtherance of his “business” could constitute a separate Consumer Protection Act violation.


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