x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dynasty Zarooni chief and two associates acquitted of fraud

An Indian millionaire property magnate and two associates are acquitted on appeal of charges that they embezzled almost Dh900 million.

DUBAI // An Indian millionaire property magnate and two associates were acquitted yesterday on appeal of charges that they embezzled almost Dh900 million.

KM, the chief executive of real estate developer Dynasty Zarooni, his Emirati business partner and managing director, HZ, and a British executive, RG, were all acquitted of fraud charges after they were accused by public prosecutors of setting up a bogus investment portfolio and defrauding investors of Dh893m.

The defendants were first acquitted by the Dubai Misdemeanours Court on May 30.

The appeals court reached its verdict after the defence lawyer in the case, Dr Habib al Mulla, presented documents proving the contractual agreements between the investors and Dynasty Zarooni.

Dr al Mulla also told the court the investors had received more than Dh232m in profits from their investments.

He said the investors changed their statements before prosecutors and the courts.

The court also threw out the civil suit filed by the investors, granted permission for Dynasty Zarooni executives to file a countersuit against the plaintiffs, and gave them Dh20,000 in temporary compensation.

KM, however, is facing another trial in which 36 investors have appealed to the court to reinstate a Dh1.2 billion dismissed fraud charge against him. The investors say the investigations in the case were flawed.

The plaintiffs say in the second case that KM and his co-defendants committed property fraud by selling plots of land that did not exist.

The Dubai Public Prosecution had dismissed the case and refused to refer it to court after a report by an independent property market expert.

The lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Salem al Sha'ali, told the court the report was inaccurate and biased.

"The expert has allegedly misconducted his evaluation and is legally bound to be prosecuted," he said.

The court will reconvene on December 23 for more testimony.