Build­ing firm boss gets 15 years for fraud

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

The for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of a Dubai prop­erty firm has been sen­tenced to 15 years in jail for his part in a Dhs56 mil­lion fraud in­volv­ing prop­erty in Texas. The Amer­i­can, aged 56, was con­victed along­side two other Amer­i­cans who were given the same sen­tence. But the oth­ers were tried in ab­sen­tia and re­main on the run. Dubai Court of First In­stance or­dered that they re­pay the Dhs56 mil­lion to their for­mer firm - and pay the same again as a fine. The main de­fen­dant would not be re­leased un­til the fine is paid, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ce­dure. A judge was told their com­pany was de­ceived into pay­ing an in­flated price for a plot of land in Texas, in Novem­ber 2007, and that they em­bez­zled Dhs56.3m from the deal. The Amer­i­can was ar­rested and placed in de­ten­tion in 2008 dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. He went on hunger strike on May of 2012, and was re­leased in July the same year on Dh­s5m bail. He fled the coun­try but was ar­rested in Ye­men and brought back to the UAE. Five other men - a Malaysian, Aus­tralian, In­dian, Pak­istani and Le­banese man, who were charged with aiding and abet­ting, were found not guilty. The main de­fen­dant will be de­ported on his re­lease. An ar­rest war­rant has been out for the other Amer­i­cans since 2012.

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