DUBAI // The former chief executive of a large real estate development company and three others were sentenced to 15 years in prison each on Sunday for theft and fraud valued at more than Dh56 million in relation to a land deal in 2007.
Zack Shahin, the former boss of Deyaar, and the others were found guilty by Dubai Criminal Court, which fined them Dh56m and ordered them to pay back the same amount to the Dubai property company.
The American businessman, 56, and eight other men including three former Deyaar executives, denied deceiving the company into paying an inflated price for a plot of land in Houston, Texas, in November 2007, and embezzling Dh56.3m from the deal.
On July 30, 2012, Dubai prosecutors submitted original documents notarised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Washington as well as UAE authorities, which include details of activity in December 2007 in two escrow accounts of American National Title Company at Amegy Bank of Texas. These holding accounts were where the money for the plot was deposited.
The documents also included a report issued by the Dubai Financial Audit Department on May 16, 2012.
Mr Shahin was arrested and jailed in 2008 during an investigation into financial irregularities while he was head of Deyaar. He went on hunger strike on May 14, 2012, and was released in July that year on Dh5m bail. He attempted to flee the country but was arrested in Yemen and was brought back to be detained in the UAE.
On Sunday, he was found guilty along with three other Americans, and each will be deported after serving their terms. Five other men who were charged with aiding and abetting were found not guilty.
Source: uae news