Kerala man ‘cheats’ US woman IT professional

July 23rd, 2010 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 22 (IANS) A US woman was so taken in by the charms of a Kerala man that she gave up her job as an IT consultant in San Francisco and settled down in God’s Own Country. But the experience has left her shattered.
Cecilia Rosso Conquest, 55, has filed a court complaint against Balakrishna Bhat, 36, alleging he had cheated her of lakhs of rupees and also physically and mentally tortured her.

Speaking to IANS, the Italian-born Conquest said she first met Bhat in 2001 while she was on a visit to Kochi.

“He seemed to be a nice guy and was polite. I went to his home and met his parents and in 2002 I stayed with them for three months. I came back to Kerala a few times and in 2004 I gave up my job as a consultant at an IT firm in San Francisco,” said Conquest.

She was so impressed with the tourist destination of Varkala, about 50 km from here, that she decided to settle down there by the sea.

“First I sent him Rs.30 lakh to buy property at the Varkala beach, and in 2004 I built a home on the land and also three independent cottages to be let out to tourists. In all, I have spent Rs.50 lakh. The property was registered in his name and he executed an unregistered lease deed in favor of me,” Conquest said.

“Later, by the end of 2009, Bhat started changing his colors and started to abuse me physically and mentally. That compelled me to file a complaint before the Varkala magistrate court early this year. And now I have been given protection, but last week Bhat broke into my home,” she said.

Conquest’s counsel Ajay said Bhat’s attempt to get anticipatory bail was rejected by the session court here and the Kerala High Court.

“But he managed to get regular bail from the magistrate’s court of Varkala. After getting bail he broke open the lock of Conquest’s house and brought his parents there from Kochi to make sure that Conquest is on the streets,” said Ajay.

He added that his client has to leave India Aug 2 because her visa is expiring.

“I want my money back because I feel cheated,” said Conquest.

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