US citizen complains that three Keralites deceived him over company ownership – The New Indian Express
Express press service
KOCHI: An Infopark design and architecture firm in Kochi is witnessing a property battle as police register a case against three Keralities following a complaint by a US national. The case was referred to the crime branch as the alleged cheating amounted to around Rs 7 crore.
The controversy centers on the ownership of the company registered as DDG BIM Services based at the Trans Asia Cyber Park at Infopark. It has been operational since June 2019. Phil Duong, Commercial Director of DDG Group and a US national, filed the complaint through a Power of Attorney given to Gia Mathai Kandathil of Kalamassery at the Infopark Police Station.
A case was filed for cheating, dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, cheating by impersonation, copyright infringement and trademark infringement. The people booked are Shamla Aboobacker, aka Anitha Manoj, 39, from Palachuvadu; Sarath Babu, 32, from Mayyil in Kannur, and Anumol Shaji, 23, DDG BIM employee at Infopark. Police also arrested DDG BIM Services and DDG BIM Engineering, allegedly started by Anitha and Sarath.
FIR says Anitha and Sharath approached Phil to start a business named DDG BIM Services in Infopark. They convinced Phil to make an investment and launched DDG BIM Services in 2019. However, after the business started, they reportedly did not transfer ownership to Phil. The duo later launched BBG Engineering Services using Phil’s company name and brand. Anumol Shaji allegedly posed as an employee who quit the company to maintain communication with Phil. The plaintiff lost money to the tune of $8.96 lakh.
In an email response to TNIE, Phil said he had invested nearly $1 million in Kerala to pay for office construction, furniture, monthly rent, computer purchases, training and salaries. “Through their parallel operations, using my intellectual property and internal resources, I suspect they have diverted an additional half a million dollars from my business,” he said, adding that he had written to the minister Chief of State and Minister of Industry, but there was no proper response from them.
According to Anitha, they submitted all documents related to the business to the police. “This company is the result of our hard work. In fact, DDG BIM services were launched in June 2019 while Phil launched his business in the US in 2020. This is a deliberate attempt to defame us. Phil had been giving freelance work until 2020. The problems started after he started contacting our employees directly for various jobs. He threatened to defame us,” Anitha said.