x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Former Deyaar chief faces new fraud charges

American is called back to court for a sixth case involving charges of embezzlement and abuse of power.

DUBAI // The former Deyaar chief executive, Zack Shahin, on bail on charges of theft and fraud involving more than Dh300 million, faced new charges yesterday over a land deal.

The American businessman, 52, is accused of deceiving the Dubai property company into paying an inflated price for a plot of land in Houston, Texas, in November 2007, and embezzling Dh56.3m from the deal. Three former Deyaar executives deny charges of aiding and abetting him, and a further two remain at large. The next hearing is on September 2.

Mr Shahin was arrested and imprisoned in 2008 during an investigation into alleged financial irregularities while he was head of Deyaar. He went on hunger strike on May 14 this year, and was released last week on Dh5m bail. He denies any wrongdoing.

His lawyer, Ali Al Shamsi, told Dubai Criminal Court yesterday that Mr Shahin was in hospital and unable to walk.

At the same court, another Dh110m case of alleged bribery and corruption involving Mr Shahin and a former government minister, in which a verdict had been expected, was returned to public prosecution for new information to be added to records.

And a Dh44m fraud prosecution of three former Nakheel executives and an Australian businessman was returned for the same reason.