Deyaar’s former CEO gets 15 years in jail for bribery

The former CEO of Deyaar, American citizen Z.S., 48, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for pocketing Dh20 million worth of bribes while in his post, from two private firms in return for letting them win contracts with the property developer.

By Marie Nammour

Published: Tue 26 Mar 2013, 8:35 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:54 AM

The Court of First Instance, presided over by Judge Ali Attiah Saad, sentenced three others in absentia, including a manager of a private technology firm (Argentinean citizen J.M), two managers in another private multi-service firm (Canadian F.L. and Briton A.S. both at large), each to 10 years in prison for collecting Dh10 million in bribes.

The court also ordered that the four defendants jointly pay Dh28,556,535 in fines and to return the same sum to Deyaar.

The court also fined F.L. and A.S. jointly Dh500,000, and ordered them to return the same to their firm, of what they are accused of having embezzled.

The defendants were cleared of the charge of inflicting damages on Deyaar.

The court ordered that Z.S. be deported after completing his prison term.

Z.S. pleaded not guilty to the charges of damaging Deyaar’s interests and arranging for the private firms to win contracting bidding.

A total amount of Dh30 million was found to have been wired to the defendants’ bank accounts.

The director of the Financial Control Department said that during the investigation many cheques were found issued to Z.S. in addition to other money wiring.

Z.S. and J.M. were both granted bail in July last year on health conditions grounds. Both violated their bail conditions and left the country in spite of a travel ban. Z.S. was arrested in Yemen and sent back to court in December while J.M. is still sought by the authorities.

The verdict can be appealed within 15 days.

The court did not give a verdict, as scheduled, in another case involving Z.S. and nine others accused of breach of trust, fraud, forgery and divulging of confidential information. It ordered, however, that the alleged fraud be assessed by a financial expert, a marketing expert and an auditor.

Z.S. and his successor M.J., 45, were both cleared in February of the charge of causing Deyaar to lose Dh1.2 million in financial and investment damages.

Z.S., who had been detained for more than four years in connection with fraud cases involving Dh300 million and misuse of powers, has still two more cases examined before the Dubai Courts.

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