SOUTHLAKE, Texas — It was supposed to be a job interview for an executive assistant position. According to one Oregon woman, it turned into a nightmare that haunts her months later.
WFAA is not naming the plaintiff or showing her identity at her request. The plaintiff, who goes by AB, had flown in from Oregon to DFW for the job interview in mid-February. According to her attorney, AB had previously interviewed with the employer over Zoom.
"She did some research before she met with him. She looked up the company's website, it looked completely legitimate," said Houston-based attorney Anna Greenberg.
AB told WFAA the supposed CEO of the company had picked her up from the airport for the in-person job interview. She claims she was handed a room key by the CEO for a room at the Hilton Dallas/Southlake Town Square. Her brief interaction with him started to raise some red flags. But she says things took a serious turn when she was finally in her hotel room.
"As I was in my hotel room alone, two people walked into my room unannounced," AB said. "I was very shooken up and at that point, I started looking around trying to figure out what else is not right here."
The two unknown men left the room, saying they thought the room was vacant.
According to court documents, the plaintiff started to get suspicious and began scouring the hotel room for anything out of order. Her attention then turned to an alarm clock that seemed out of place.
"When she took a closer look at the device it turned out there was an actual camera lens she could see in the clock radio, a hidden camera device," said Greenberg.
It was an alarm clock with a memory card, she claims, designed to video record. The plaintiff rushed it to the hotel lobby immediately.
"[The hotel employee] was like, 'we don't even have clocks in our hotels, that's not allowed,'" AB recalled.
"Well, there's a clock in here!" AB responded.
"Within one minute of unplugging the hidden camera device, Plaintiff received a phone call from [the alleged CEO} asking her if everything was alright. Not wanting to alert him that she had found these suspicious devices, Plaintiff told [the alleged CEO] that everything was fine and that she would be at the restaurant soon," read the civil complaint.
The job interview never happened and AB says she filed a police report with Southlake police before being escorted to the airport by police.
WFAA has made numerous requests for comment from the hotel and its general manager. The calls, voicemails and emails have not been returned.
The attorneys say the CEO and the company were a fake. WFAA is not identifying the alleged CEO because he has not been charged with a crime.
The attorneys for AB are pushing for criminal prosecution.
The Southlake Police Department can confirm to WFAA they are investigating the incident.
This suit names the fake CEO, and the hotel for negligence. The hotel is independently owned by a management company named Driftwood Hospitality Management. WFAA's initial calls to Hilton Hotels were redirected to the independent owner.
The attorneys and AB are seeking a $1 million or more in damages.
AB says she has panic attacks and cannot sleep. She's since found a job and is trying to move on.
"Looking back in that moment I was worried I was going to be abducted and sex trafficked as brutal as that is," said AB.