Dogmeat (dogmeatnyc) wrote,



June 25, 2006 -- A Brooklyn anesthesiologist callously ditched his wife and three kids, leaving them homeless after he secretly sold their house and fled the country with all their money, the wife alleges.

Dr. Raihan Chowdhury was deemed a fugitive Wednesday for ignoring repeated court orders to provide for his hapless family.

His wife, Sharmin Sultana, who gave up her career as a gynecologist to become a full-time mom, is now broke and staying at a women's shelter with the couple's two daughters and toddler son.

All while her husband lives in luxury in his native Bangladesh, possibly having remarried without getting a divorce here, according to her divorce documents and her lawyer's statements in Brooklyn Family Court.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Sultana. "My husband is very cunning, very clever."

Chowdhury, 45, a doctor formerly at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn who ran outpatient clinics, left the family after selling their $975,000 South Midwood home on the sly.

The heartbreaking betrayal began when he took his family on a vacation to Hong Kong on Jan. 9, even bringing the kids to Disneyland there and buying them Mickey Mouse mementos.

But the trip was a ruse. Back in New York, an associate was sneaking into the home and removing all the furniture, along with Sultana's Bangladeshi medical diploma and her jewelry, his wife claims.

The husband had also quietly quit his $280,000-a-year job at the hospital and sent overseas hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned from his practice, she claims.

Sultana learned of the deceit during a layover in Bangladesh on the flight home. Chowdhury announced he wasn't returning to the United States - and that she had no choice but to give up her life in New York and relocate to a country their children hardly knew.

When she refused, he said he was going to take the kids himself and send her packing.

"I was scared," she said. "Then I looked into my purse."

She found he'd removed all their passports, credit cards and house keys.

Sultana got off the plane in tears, and pleaded with immigration officials in Dhaka. "I told them my husband cheated me and took everything," she said.

The officials forced him to hand back the documents and house keys.

The children then had to make a wrenching decision - stay in Bangladesh with their father or return home with mom.

The oldest daughter declared, "He did bad by you and we will not go, whatever you have," Sultana said.

So the children, Jensine, 8, Mahira, 6, and Ramin, 2, flew home to New York with her.

Sultana believed she still had a house to come home to.

But when she and the kids returned to their residence on Midwood's East 22nd Street, a well-appointed two-family Colonial featuring marble baths and an interior fountain, all their possessions were gone.

"I thought the house had been robbed, so I called the police," Sultana said.

She learned the truth from a neighbor who'd been told of Chowdhury's plans and who watched as someone hauled away the household goods.

The family slept on the floor for a few weeks until the new owner showed up and ordered them out. They had no choice but to seek refuge at a shelter.

On Wednesday, a tipster informed Sultana's lawyer, Laurence Greenberg, that Chowdhury was flying back to New York. He rushed to court seeking a bench warrant for the doctor's arrest.

In an emotional appeal, he told Brooklyn Judge Sarah Krauss: "I'm asking that he be brought here to face the music and deal with his wife and three children that he has abandoned in such a cowardly, despicable fashion."

Krauss issued the order, but officials said Chowdhury was not on the flight.

Sultana said she once loved her husband, although their marriage was arranged by their families.

They married in Dhaka in 1995 and moved to the United States, where Chowdhury was doing a residency at SUNY in Syracuse. They eventually grew close.

"I loved him and he also seemed to love me," she said.

But things changed when he forced her to give up her dream of practicing medicine in order to raise a family, and as he blew through money on bad business decisions, she said. She has no license in the United States to practice medicine and would need months to study and take the board exams to secure one.

She claims her husband also hijacked $170,000 in savings she had set aside "for the children - to give them a better life."

Efforts to reach Chowdhury's lawyer were not successful.

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