Conman’s victim: He destroyed my legal career

1. The above is the photo fit of Malaysia’s pathological liar and conman Bala Devan A. Theaivendiram!

2. Read/See for yourself (below) these are just samples and there are more to come -  pathological liar and conman Bala Devan’s many different strokes in signing off contracts and undertaking letters after taking monies from his victims!

By Teoh El Sen

SUBANG JAYA: “I was used by him, I was one of his many victims… because of him, my career is totally destroyed.

“These were the words Teoh Ming, 46, who not only lost RM500,000 but was suspended from being a lawyer for two years and subsequently declared bankrupt last year.

She is now a single mother providing for her 11-year-old son through freelance jobs, and her predicament is because of one person, the elusive conman “Baladevan”.

Teoh is the first victim to come forward and go on record following media reports on the 56-year-old “conman” who had allegedly swindled more than 40 local companies and individuals of more than RM7 million in the span of 10 years.

Baladevan’s modus operandi was to claim close links with influential people, even government officials here and in India, and be able to obtain contracts for large-scale government projects.

Speaking at a press conference here, Teoh described Baladevan as “very well dressed” and a “very good speaker”.

“He would splash money and buy us drinks and all that. We were taken by this, especially me. I was even used by him to convince others to wait for his projects. And like a stupid fool I did all that.

“He is so good I think he can even charm ten birds off a tree,” she said.

Samy Vellu’s name was used

Recounting her experience with the smooth-talking scam artist, Teoh said in 2003, a friend introduced her to Baladevan, who claimed that he was close to then works minister S Samy Vellu as his brother Mogana Devan was the private secretary to the minister.

Teoh said she felt more convinced after confirming the identity of Baladevan’s brother at the Works Ministry office.

“He told us then that Samy Vellu wanted to help them earn some money and he (Samy Vellu) wanted some funds for the coming election.

“He said Samy Vellu told him that there would be some ‘mark up’ for some projects and the money from these ‘mark-ups’ would then go to both of them,” she added.

Teoh said Baladevan told her to look for contractors for the roadworks and railway projects worth more than RM40 million.

“I found some contractors for him. They were usually convinced at first but when he asked for upfront money or ‘commitment fees’ to be paid to his people inside the Works Ministry in order to expedite the matter, they backed off,” she said.

Teoh said she then decided to pump in the money herself – with help from friends and even money lenders – and “invested” a sum of RM650,000 with the promise of getting part of the commission from the would-be contractors.

That, however, never materialised and she lost almost RM500,000.

Second incident

Teoh said the second time around, Baladevan had contacted her in 2004 and told her that he had three other projects which were road upgrade and repair works along the Seremban to Senawang road; the Sungai Balang, Batu Pahat road; and the Lubok Cina, Malacca road.

“I then represented three contractors who were interested in each of the three projects. The three, who also met Mogana Devan at the Works Ministry, were required to deposit an amount in my firm at the time,” said Teoh, adding that one company paid RM200,000 while the other two paid RM500,000.

However, Teoh said she had released the money to Baladevan after he told her he needed the money for the bill of quantities to be issued before a letter of award could be obtained.

“Because I still believed in him I released the money but I also got him to sign an undertaking to guarantee that he would refund the money if the letter of award was not issued,” said Teoh.

However, there was no letter of award or contracts and Baladevan grew evasive and finally disappeared.

And one of the upset contractors Teoh was representing decided to lodge a complaint with the Bar Council and she was subsequently suspended from practicing.

“Thankfully, the two other contractors decided not to pursue legal action against me as they knew I was also a victim,” she said.

In 2006, Teoh made two police reports against Baladevan but to date, the latter had not been arrested.

“The reason I am coming out now is because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I have actually put this part of my past behind me but looking at how many others actually were his victims, I felt that I needed to do my part to put him behind bars for all this,” she told FMT.

Also read:

Conman bilking millions from double-tracking rail project

‘Govt allows high-profile conmen to get away’

Conman’s victims come forward; Works Ministry implicated

BN backbenchers on the trail of conman ‘Baladevan’

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