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Former Deyaar CEO gets jail for Dh56.3 million fraud

Marie Nammour/Dubai
Filed on March 16, 2017

(Reuters)

The three convicts were ordered to pay Dh56.3 m in fines

The former CEO of Deyaar has lost appeal against convictions in two graft cases.

The US citizen of Lebanese origin has had his 15-year jail sentence, in one case, upheld by the Court of Appeals over charges of misuse of power and Dh 56.3 million fraud.

Two other accused (senior staff of a private realty firm in the US) have each had his 15-year jail sentence upheld in absentia on criminal complicity and fraud charges.

According to prosecution documents, the 52-year-old ex-CEO misused his post at Deyaar back in November 2007, and committed many financial irregularities. He submitted to the chairman of the board a misleading feasibility study on the purchase of a plot in Houston, Texas, USA, causing the property developer to lose Dh 56.3 m in the price of the plot.

The three convicts were ordered to pay Dh 56.3 m in fines and also to return the same amount to the plaintiff. They court ruling states they be deported.

The court cleared five former Deyaar staff including head of the legal affairs section (Malaysian), finance manager (Pakistani), deputy head of the engineering department (Australian), director of the department of international projects (Lebanese) and the COO (Indian), of any wrongdoing.

 In the other case, the appellate court upheld a 10-year jail sentence against the former CEO.

Two other accomplices (an Indian and an Argentinean businessman) were each given ten years in jail.

The court ordered them and the ex-CEO to return 35,568,42 to the company and pay jointly a similar amount in fines.

The court sentenced another Indian to three years in jail.

It ordered the ex-CEO and the two Indians to return 6,443,165 and pay jointly an equal sum in fines.

He was also ordered to repay Dh 530,000 and an equal fine.

The criminal case against an Emirati accomplice, a former minister, has been closed following his demise.

All the convicted accused will be deported after completing their jail terms.

Apart from embezzling millions of dirhams, the former CEO has also been accused of damaging Deyaar's interests with losses of more than Dh21.5 million through private bargain deals he had done with contracting companies.

He caused Deyaar to incur huge losses by giving discounts to some customers giving them priority over others who were ready at the time with cash to buy units at the market value.

He is accused of forging documents to raise the price of some projects, including one in Turkey in which alone he misappropriated Dh6 million by manipulating the prices of units and taking the difference amount for himself. In another project, he received Dh530,000 in illegal commission.

The former Deyaar senior executive has been held at Al Aweer central prison since more than nine years in connection with four cases of fraud involving more than Dh 300 m and misuse of power.

He has been released on bail at one point but was caught and returned to jail after fleeing to Yemen.

mary@khaleejtimes.com


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