Fraud case against Somoy TV in Supreme Court of New York

BanglaPress Desk
December 18, 2020

Staff Reporter: A fraud case has been filed in the New York Supreme Court against Somoy TV Bangladesh. The case was filed on November 3, 2020 by AKM Shehabuddin Kisslu, a New York expatriate journalist and head of the United States Bureau of Somoy TV, alleging breach of contract and fraud by the Somoy TV Authority. AKM Shehabuddin Kisslu, president of Somoy Media Inc and head of the US bureau of Somoy TV demanded payment  for damages and arrears in the case.
Ahmed Jobaer, managing director and CEO of Somoy TV in Bangladesh, and Hasanuzzaman Saki, representative of Somoy TV in the United States, have been sued in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the Four Count. Case Index No. 720762/2020.

According to the details of the case, journalist AKM Shehabuddin Kisslu was first appointed as a representative in the United States on December 4, 2013 by Bangladesh Somoy TV. Then on November 30, 2014, he was promoted to the post of ‘Bureau Chief’ in the United States. Somoy TV journalist Shehauddin Kisslu from 2013 to 2015 expressed satisfaction with his work. Bangladesh Time Media Limited signed a ‘Joint Venture’ agreement with Shehabuddin Kisslu-owned Somoy Media Inc. on 15 October 2015. There is no expiration date for this partnership business agreement. According to the agreement, AKM Shehabuddin Kisslu’s monthly allowance for the first year is set at a minimum of $3,000 dollars, along with staff costs of $2,500 dollars and all necessary ancillary expenses, including office rent.
In addition, Shehabuddin Kisslu was given the same bonus benefits as the executive officers of Somoy TV Bangladesh and 5% dividend on the condition that Bangladesh Somoy Media Limited was contracted.
Within a few days of the agreement, Ahmed Jobaer the managing director and CEO of Somoy TV, asked Akhtar Hossain Babu to apply for an L-1 visa as a marketing officer in the United States. A few months before the incident, Akhtar Hossain Babu and his wife Mahmuda Alam, were deported to the United States without permission to enter the United States for presenting “false information” at the Canadian border. Akhtar Hossain Babu’s L-1 visa application states that Akhtar Hossain Babu’s annual salary is $75,000 dollars (from 5 May 2016 to 14 April 2018). Journalist Shehabuddin Kisslu refused to re-apply for Akhtar Hossain Babu’s L-1 visa with ‘untrue information’ and later with ‘false information’ despite not fulfilling the conditions of the US government. Shehabuddin Kisslu did not agree to do this criminal act even under intense pressure. He withdrew the L1 application for Akhtar Hossain Babu on the advice of his lawyer. Shehabuddin Kisslu expressed complete inability to submit any kind of fraudulent documents to the US Immigration Department. It was then that Shehabuddin Kisslu’s relationship with Somoy TV’s managing director and CEO deteriorated. Based on this Shehabuddin Kisslu was informed that he would be removed from the post by unilateral letter on January 1, 2018, violating the agreement.
His attorney filed a ‘Four Count ‘ case on behalf of Shehabuddin Kisslu in the court alleging breach of ‘joint venture’ agreement and recovery of all compensation and arrears of Shehabuddin Kisslu. Attorney Arthur Morrison alleged that the Bangladesh Somoy TV Authority had violated the agreement by not agreeing to the fraudulent actions of the Bangladesh Television Authority and not paying Shehabuddin Kisslu’s fair dues through deception.

In the case file, Shehabuddin Kisslu, through his lawyer, filed a lawsuit in the court seeking compensation (arrears) of $ 250,000 and $100,000 dollars annually and the receipt of bonuses and dividends due as per the agreement.
An investigation into the matter in the expatriate Bangladeshi community has revealed that Shehabuddin Kisslu’s denial of some criminal activities by the Somoy Tv Authority outside the allegations of the case and especially the fear of a change of government in the 2019 Bangladesh national elections could not involve Shehabuddin Kisslu. Many are thinking that he has been the victim of the incident.

BP/SM