Wanted By the FBI: Michael James Pratt
The FBI is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of a New Zealand man who allegedly coerced young women into filming sexually explicit videos.
Narrator: The FBI is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Michael James Pratt.
Pratt and his co-conspirators allegedly recruited young women from around the United States for clothed modeling jobs on the Internet.
Women who responded to the ads were later told the jobs were for sexually explicit videos. But they were promised the videos would not be posted on the Internet, and that they would remain anonymous. In exchange, they would receive $3,000 to $5,000.
Narrator: William McNamara is a special agent in the FBI’s San Diego Field Office, which is investigating the case. He says the charges against Pratt include production of child pornography and sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
McNamara: “Pratt allegedly paid other young women working for him to act as references to assure these victims that their videos would not be posted online. Some of the women were not permitted to leave the location until the videos were made. And some were forced to perform certain sex acts that they didn't want to.”
Narrator: Pratt’s websites generated millions in revenue. The FBI believes his victims number in the hundreds.
McNamara: “We know there are people that are helping Pratt. We know he makes promises to people. He is promising them gifts and money in return for giving him safe-haven and secrecy to continue his criminal behavior. We believe he is likely still victimizing others. And that’s why we feel it’s important to get him off the street.”
Narrator: The FBI recently raised the reward to $50,000 in hopes that someone will come forward with tips and information to help advance the case.
McNamara: The hope for this campaign is somebody sees him, knows him, recognizes him, and contacts law enforcement. We know he has family ties to New Zealand and Australia. But he has the financial means to really be anywhere around the world.
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