x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Estate agent and executive land in jail and pay Dh1.5 million fine

An Indian sales executive and a Russian estate agent have each been sentenced to one year in jail for defrauding a real estate developer.

DUBAI // An Indian sales executive and a Russian estate agent have each been sentenced to one year in jail for defrauding a real estate developer in a multimillion dirham deal for dozens of villas. The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance also yesterday ordered the two defendants to jointly pay a fine of Dh1,561,442 (US$425,000), the amount they took in illegal commissions on the deal. Both had pleaded not guilty in June.

The sales executive, identified as NK, 27, was charged with defrauding his employer, the real estate developer, by falsely obtaining an extra one per cent commission. He was accused of asking for a bribe from the estate agent, LM, 26, who brought a wealthy Saudi investor to purchase 84 villas from the company. NK first asked LM to pay him one-third of her three per cent commission on the deal. When she refused he convinced her to ask his company to raise her commission to four per cent and give him the additional percentage point.

When LM made the request, NK convinced his manager to agree to increase her commission by saying that if he did not LM would take her client to another developer. When the deal was completed LM received a four per cent commission of about Dh6 million and gave NK a cheque for Dh1.5m. NK, whose salary was just under Dh10,000 per month, then bought a new car for Dh350,000, a watch for Dh50,000 and two apartments in Dubai Marina.

When a colleague identified as HA asked where he got the money, NK said he had earned some extra cash from his most recent deal. HA informed the company's management and NK admitted under questioning he had obtained an extra one per cent commission and offered to repay the money. NK also admitted he and LM had previously worked together at another estate agency. hbathish@thenational.ae