By Harihar Swarup
Sukesh Chandrasekhar knows how to make an entrance. With a supporting cast of 12 bodyguards and an expensive car fitted with red bacon, he is a Tamil Nadu politician’s son. He walked into Taj Connemara in Chennai brimming with confidence, only to stop in his tracks as he spotted Leena Paulose alias Leena Maria for the first time in 2010.
Trained as a dentist, Leena, nursed ambition of becoming actor. Fresh in a minor role in the Mohanlal—starrer Red Chillies (2009), she was impressed with Sukesh and entourage. They began dating and in the first seven months, their relationship hurtled ahead with at breakneck speed. She was rubbing shoulders with Chennai elite, famous actors and entertainers. Then one day, Sukesh vanished. All she got was a machine telling her that his phone was switched off.
A class X dropout, Sukesh was born and raised in a middle-class family in Bhiwani Nagar, Bengaluru. His father Vijyan Chandrashekhar, a part-time contractor allegedly duped a kitchen equipment dealer in 2010, with Sukesh’s help. He was arrested for the crime, and passed away recently. Sukesh moved on to try his luck in the real-estate sector and in turn found himself as the centre of racing scene in Bengaluru where he began “dreams of becoming a millionaire”.
For the next 10 years, Sukesh, 33, would make grandiose entrances posing as the son of powerful south-Indian politician, charming his way into lives of Bollywood actresses, courting them with luxury cars, chocolates, flowers and Frank Muller watches.
His first brush with crime began in 2017, after he allegedly cheated a Bengaluru-based resident of Rs. 1.5 crore with the promise of getting his land acquired by the Banglore Development Authority and developing an apartment with foreign investment. He would face a string of allegations over next two years, including impersonating Karnataka politician Karunakaran Reddy’s son duping multiple people under the pretext of selling them luxury cars.
Meanwhile, Leena had learnt that Sukesh was lodged in Madurai jail in a cheating case. When she met him for the first time in jail, he revealed his true name – Sukesh. Until then, she thought his real name was Balaji. Five months later, Sukesh was released from prison and the couple moved to Bengaluru. While Leena travelled for her shoots, Sukesh made trips to Mumbai, boasting of making contacts with top Bollywood actors. Leena was featured in several films a Malayam comedy Husbands in Goa (2012), Tamil thriller Biriyani (2013) and John Abraham — starrer Madras cafe (2013).
Soon, Sukesh and Leena would “run an organized crime syndicate” the ED chargesheet stated. The coupled tied the knot in 2014. They would pose as an IAS officer and his secretary allegedly duping people under the pretext of selling government contract and launching ponzi schemes .
By 2013-14, the couple had moved in together at Imperial Heights, Goregaon, Mumbai. But unknown to Leena, Sukesh had bought a separate apartment in the same building and was also “running parallel audition for other actresses”. Sukesh then shifted to Delhi, since legal cases against him were mounting. (IPA Service)