Earlier this year, two women students were eager to leave Bulgaria for the summer and visit the U.S. They went through an agency to find employment and obtain the proper work visas. Meanwhile, a cafe operator in Tampa, Fla. was in search of new staff. He took the unorthodox approach of contacting the two women – Ralitsa Dzhambazova and Vanya Samokovareva – through Skype and Facebook prior to employing them at his eatery and providing them with an apartment. By May 28, when the students arrived in Tampa, they had jobs and a place to live. Everything was falling into place.
• Foreign students accuse landlord of illegally bugging their apartment.
• Landlord asserts Fifth Amendment right to attempt to block request for electronic evidence.
• Legal experts believe Punjani’s objection may hurt his civil case.
But then, in July, the co-eds made a terrible discovery. Concealed within a smoke detector in their apartment was a hidden camera. After discovering several more, the women immediately disconnected the cameras and filed a police report. Now, they are suing their former landlord and employer, Nadir Punjani, for the humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, stress and pain his actions have caused them.
But the peeping landlord has plenty of chutzpah. After the court ordered him to preserve and turn over any computers, laptops, cell phones and servers in his possession, he attempted to assert his Fifth Amendment right as a means to legally refuse to comply with the order!
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