Roberto Casanega was convinced that he had a long-distance relationship with a woman named “Maya”, with whom he had had a virtual “bond” for 15 years.
Maya made him believe she was a model, that she was in love with and committed to him.
In fact, the well-known former player of the Italian volleyball team and the current captain of the team from the city of Gioia del Colle, in the south of the country, was cheated on by someone who pretended to be a Brazilian model (and by the way, I used photos of the Brazilian Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio)
Kazaniga, 42, explained on a TV show that their “relationship” began after he was introduced to him by a mutual friend named Manuela, whom he considered his “future girlfriend on the phone.”
In the program “Le Iene” (Hyenas), the player announced his story and admitted that he had been deceived by a famous artist, thereby accumulating tens of thousands of euros in debt.
The volleyball player sent Maya bragging gifts that included a new Alfa Romeo Mito and more 700,000 euros (about $790,000).
In addition, Cazzaniga made transfers to him for what he believed to be medical expenses for treating a heart condition.
On the programme, his brother Alessandro said “One day I was in the room in the dark. I see him crying, I ask him what he has and he tells me that he fell in love but this woman is in intensive care for a heart operation and she can’t go to the hospital because she will be angry.”
But, according to Alessandro and several of his Cazzaniga teammates, no one believed the story very much, because it seemed suspicious that they had never met the woman in question for a long time.
Submit a complaint to the authorities
It was not easy for the player to realize the deception. For a long time he was pressured by his colleagues and the coach of the team, who explained in the program that they asked Kazaniga to confront the woman, and find the real person behind “Maya”.
It took a “collective intervention” from his colleagues, with a hidden camera from the show’s producers, for the man to accept the painful reality.
“I have a lot of debt, and it is not easy to wake up from a coma”Kazaniga said in tears after admitting she was the victim of a scam.
After this intervention, Cazzaniga contacted the Guardia de Finanza (Italian financial police), who told him that he was the victim of a complex fraud.
The investigation showed that the person who carried out the scam was a woman originally from the Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia, described by local media as “Valeria”. They indicated that mutual friend Manuela was part of the scam.
According to Italian media, the case is in the hands of the prosecution, which has opened an investigation, although no official charges have been reported so far.
Meanwhile, there is an unresolved mystery: How can a hypothetical relationship be maintained for so long without being physically reunited with the other person at some point? The answer may not be straightforward how some tend to think of the first note.
“How could it happen that in fifteen years Cazzaniga has never wanted to meet that woman he fell in love with online? Is it possible that this girl has never wanted to be seen with her teammates or friends?”
It’s a legitimate question, however, that Cazzaniga doesn’t answer in the TV show (because no one asked him, or at least if an answer was given, it didn’t appear in the final version)