BALTIMORE – A jury has hit an Internet matchmaker with a fine of up to $434,000 for a relationship that ended in alleged abuse.
A federal jury in Baltimore sided withNataliya Fox (search) against Encounters International (search). She accused the company of fraud and negligence, saying it should have screened its male clients.
She also says the company's owner told her to endure the alleged abuse or go home to Ukraine. She says she wasn't told about a law that helps foreign nationals escape abusive relationships without fear of automatic deportation.
The agency says it had no obligation to tell Fox of the law. The owner says Fox made up the abuse allegations to get a U.S. visa.
Fox married her match less than three months after meeting him through the service.
She says a two-hour beating sent her to the hospital in 2000.
The husband was charged criminally, but had his record cleared after taking a class.