Legal adviser accused of embezzling Dh183 million from law firm in Dubai

Man created shell companies and diverted funds from clients, prosecutors claim

A legal adviser has been accused of embezzling millions of dirhams from a Dubai law firm he worked for.

The defendant, 44, is charged with siphoning Dh183.6 million ($49.9m) from Al Shaali Advocates and Legal Consultants for several years before being caught in 2017.

Prosecutors allege the Jordanian – with help from 18 others in total – forged official documents and used them to set up four shell companies – three in different countries and one in Sharjah.

The defendant gained access to the firm’s database with help from five others of the gang including two Indians, a Jordanian, a Moroccan and a Filipino. These five have been charged with aiding and abetting.

After accessing the database, he sent clients fake emails claiming the firm had restructured and new companies had joined. The man then diverted payments to the fake companies, it has been alleged.

One defendant from Germany was responsible for writing the documents that were sent to Al Shaali clients, prosecutors said.

Twelve others, including a Canadian computer engineer, a British employee, two legal consultants from Egypt and a Lebanese sales executive, are charged with possessing some of the embezzled money. Four of the gang remain at large.

The incident only came to light following an internal audit by the company. Further details were not disclosed.

The case will be heard at Dubai Misdemeanours Court on Wednesday.

Updated: July 7th 2021, 7:04 AM