A family of three from Telangana duped a California-based Non-Resident Indian (NRI) of Rs 65 lakh by creating a fake profile on a matrimony website. The mother, 44-year-old Malavika Devati and her son Venkateswara Pranav Lalith Gopal Devati aged 22, were nabbed by the Hyderabad police on Wednesday and sent to judicial remand on Thursday. Malavika’s husband Srinivas Devati is absconding.
The arrests were made based on a complaint filed by Varun, a software engineer from California who was unaware that he was being cheated. The techie transferred Rs 65 lakh to the account number of Malavika.
Malavika using a fake profile with the name Keerthi Madhavaneni contacted many men claiming to be a doctor residing at Jubilee Hills and owning several properties.
To pull off the fraud, Malavika’s son Gopal helped create a fake profile on the Bharath Matrimony website. Malavika would then chat with NRI men who are in search of a bride. Varun was trapped using a fictitious backstory created for ‘Keerthi’: since the death of Keerthi’s father, a property dispute arose between her and her mother, another fake persona named Mahalakshmi Madhavaneni.
The fraudsters in their story to their victims claimed that ‘Keerthi’ was being tortured to transfer the property to her mother’s name and that she wanted to get married so as to keep the property for herself. However, over the course of chatting for a few weeks, Malavika pretending to be Keerthi asked Varun for money to fight her legal battle with her mother.
Police say Varun was hesitant to give away the money but was tricked into thinking that he would also have legal rights to the non-existent Keerthi’s properties once the legal battle was done. However, soon after he transferred the money, Malavika stopped responding to Varun.
After realising he has been taken for a ride, Varun approached the Jubilee Hills police station and filed a formal complaint through a friend. He also gave his statement to the police in Hyderabad over video conferencing.
This is not the first time the police have booked Malavika for fraud; she was involved in a cheating case under the Nallakunta and Marredpally police station limits along with her husband and mother-in-law. She was also involved in a similar case of cheating an NRI in 2014 by using the alias Geethanjali and s similar modus operandus. A case regarding this crime was registered in the Cyber Crime, City Crime Station (CCS), Hyderabad.
Police in their press statement said the husband and wife duo took to fraud due to huge financial problems due to their lavish lifestyle.