From Ponzi schemes and ‘419’ frauds, to duff Italian suits and ‘bulletproof’ powers, the Middle East is no stranger to the (often bizarre) arts of the conman.
February 27, 2010 11:03 by kippreport
One of the largest Ponzi-style frauds in the UAE was the recent case involving 8,000 investors who were cheated out of AED400 million ($108.9m).
In what was dubbed the ‘non-existent wallet’ case, a man identified as ‘AA Qublan’ was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud and forgery, with 94 associates also receiving prison sentences.
The group was said to have issued thousands of post-dated cheques as a guarantee to investors, according to a report by The National. They promised monthly profits of 30 to 40 per cent on their initial investments. Some of the victims were paid for their first month in order to encourage them to invest further, but many received no money at all.
AA Qublan was ordered to pay a total penalty of AED150,000 while the other defendants received fines of AED50,000 each, according to government news agency WAM.