x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Conviction of lawyer wins freedom for trio accused of Dh500m scam

The three men are cleared of scamming a renowned UAE businessman out of nearly Dh500 million.

ABU DHABI // Three men have been cleared of cheating a renowned UAE businessman out of nearly Dh500 million - after his lawyer was convicted of fraud.

The trio were accused of duping the businessman in a deal involving stocks in a Yemeni telecommunications company.

One of the men claimed he could broker a deal using the businessman's funds to acquire 15 per cent of the company's stocks and then sell them on to an investor interested in buying them at a higher price.

Another man was said to have posed as the investor to convince the businessman he would be able to sell the stocks.

The businessman then gave them Dh486m to buy the stocks, but after the purchase the investor lost interest in the deal and the businessman was left with overpriced shares.

The trio were put on trial at the Misdemeanour Court, which sentenced one of them to two years in jail and ordered him to pay Dh21,000 as temporary compensation to the businessman while he pursued a civil claim. It acquitted the other two.

While the Appeals Court was hearing the case the man who was sentenced to jail reported the businessman's lawyer MA, from Egypt, to police. He claimed the lawyer had offered, without his client's knowledge, to help prove the man's innocence. The man said the lawyer offered to provide documents that could secure his acquittal in exchange for Dh40m.

Police found the lawyer in possession of a forged document intended for this purpose and the lawyer and three of his associates were convicted.

The Appeals Court then cleared the three men accused of scamming the businessman.

hdajani@thenational.ae