x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Three cleared in Ponzi scheme case

They had been convicted in a lower court of swindling investors out of Dh300m to Dh400m.

ABU DHABI // Three defendants convicted in a major Ponzi scheme involving 1,200 alleged victims and hundreds of millions of dirhams were today cleared of fraud but given a one-year suspended sentence for running a business without a license.

Prosecutors had said the investors were swindled out Dh300 million to Dh400m.

The defendants, prosecutors said, defrauded people after promising them high returns for their invested money. Old investors would be given "profits" from new investors.

Two Emiratis, SA and KhA, and a Sudanese man, AH, were sentenced in February by Abu Dhabi Court of Misdemeanors to three years in prison for fraud and fined Dh100,000 and one year and Dh50,000 for running a business without a license.

KhA was additionally sentenced to two years and a Dh50,000 fine for forgery.

Victims of the fraud were ordered to file a civil lawsuit to claim their investments.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals overturned the sentence.