Mariam from New York:


Ever since I came to know Farhad, I discovered that he was looking for ways to become rich quickly.  Although he eventually reached his goal, he paid a hefty price for it.  I met Farhad in 1992, soon after I had obtained my green card and while on an excursion to Mexico with my friends.  My food poisoning in a restaurant at the border town of Tiajuana, occasioned the in counter.  While all my friends felt embarrassed and agitated, Farhad, along with his mother and sister, came to my help and managed to save me from the mayhem.  That was the beginning of my friendship with Farhad.

Back in Los Angeles, the hectic pace continued.  For me and Farhad, it was love at first encounter.  Unwilling to prolong the excruciating separation and trying to keep our romance under wraps, it felt good to connect with someone.  After a particularly long day he, he asked me out for dinner.  I happily agreed, only to discover that the sole dining option available at midnight was….Wendy’s drive through, still fast food was better than no food.  We stayed up late talking and kissing. I am not saying that the thought of sex did not cross my mind, but I felt there was future potential for Farhad and I.  I did not want to jeopardize our friendship. 
Friends were skeptical about the long-distance romance, but so far, it was working.  We took turns visiting each other and in between, we talked on the phone a lot.  Finally, after two years into our relationship, we said our vows and began a family life.  From the very beginning Farhad tried so hard to become rich as quick as possible.  He was always chained to the computer or thinking to invent something that would make a lot of money. In his efforts, he sent a couple of his amazing findings to some American company.  On the other hand, he spent lots of money on the lottery, hoping to get6 to his goal as soon as possible.  In contrast, I thought that I was the one who has to be realistic about our life style.  I always tried to stick to my job and never looked to becoming rich. 

He was not ready to budge even an inch from his visions.  By chance, one time his lottery ticket missed only one number from hitting the jackpot of one hundred million dollars.  I clearly remember one time when we had gone to the beach, he suddenly took the risk of pursuing an object floating far off shore.  It turned our to be a leather bag which contained some junk and plastic toys.  Now, he was spending all his income in the Las Vegas casinos and all kinds of lotteries.  He even bought lotteries from other states to no avail.  I tried in vain to stop him while he paced quickly in his visionary world.

Eventually, one night when we were on our way home from a party, he suddenly slammed on the brakes, getting out of the car and picked up a briefcase lying on the street.  Then he parked the car in a snug corner and opened it up.  In a moment I saw a flash in his eyes while he took out the bundles of hundred dollar bills.  Flabbergasted, he asked me to drive us home, while he counted the money.  We were just about to reach the  house, when he shouted, “I finally got what I was looking for.”   The briefcase contained some eight hundred thousands dollars. After we got into the house he said, “This was a God send, to him.  God had really heard his prayers.”  Unlike him, I was frightened by this incident.  Because, I had seen in the movies, that this kind of money could have belonged to the Mafia or some kind of organized crime and they could track down the people who possessed it.  On the other hand, it could possibly be an entrapment by the law enforcement. 
Farhad thought to hide the money in a safe place for sometime.  He believed if nobody showed up for the money after a couple of weeks then we could plan what to do with it.  I was overwhelmed with nightmares.  For a week I was sleepless and had a real big argument with my husband.  Farhad got so mad at me he optioned to filing for a divorce. He even relinquished the condominium and his SUV plus paying ten thousand dollars in the settlement.  It was a nasty break up and Farhad left our home right away.   After he had been gone about three weeks, I learned that Farhad had been apprehended by the police, while he was in the middle of making a big land real estate deal.  Now he is behind bars with no bail to be freed. 
He keeps calling me, pleading for my help.  The whole thing makes me feel disgusted.  How could the police allow the briefcase to be lying on the street?  I hope that I can get through this, at my own pace and in my own way.  As long as some kind of justice is ultimately served, I think I will be all right. 
This is what has happened to me and this what I am dealing with.  People do not understand, but crimes like this change people’s lives.  Our lawyer believes that he is being charged with theft, which could carry a heavy sentence.  But he is consoling me by telling me that there could be some legal channels to go through and perhaps his sentence could be commuted to a shorter prison time.  I am now hoping that with the release of Farhad, we once again to go to the same small restaurant and have a romantic dining together.  I have already put up our condominium for sale in order to help pay for the legal fees of my husband.