A former Brooklyn doctor who abandoned his wife and children nearly seven years ago has been arrested in Virginia.
Fifty-one year old Raiham Chowdhury was handcuffed as his plane landed at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He had been living in an upmarket district of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, since 2006, when he left his family in Bangladesh after family holiday to Hong Kong. When his wife Sharmin returned to the US with their three children, aged two, six and eight at the time – she found that he had secretly sold their home in Midwood,Brooklyn, liquidated all his assets, and stripped the house bare of furniture, as well as his wife’s jewellery. When the home’s new owners arrived to take possession, Sharmin was forced to move into a homeless shelter.
When she filed for divorce, she discovered that Chowdhury had already remarried.
Sharmin found a job and moved into her own apartment with the three children. She eventually succeeded in obtaining an official divorce last year, when Chowdhury was ordered to split assets from the sale of the $2 million former family home in Midwood with his wife. He has ignored the order, along with maintenance payments of $9,680 a month, despite being the owner of several clinics and a phone card company.
The $1.6 million in child support payments which Chowdhury now owes his former wife is a record for the US. He is being held in a federal prison in Alexandria, Virgina.
Thomas O’Donnell, an agent with the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, described Chowdhury as “a despicable human being”.
The Department maintains a website highlighting the most wanted ‘deadbeat dads’ in the US.
Photo of Dhaka by Gurpal Kaher under a Creative Commons licence