Dubai court orders man to pay Dh13.5m he swindled from friend

The appeal court upheld the verdict given by the Court of Misdemeanours in April

The Dubai Court of Appeal found a man guilty of stealing money from his friend's business. AFP
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Dubai Court of Appeal has ordered a man to pay the Dh13.5 million he swindled from a friend's business.

The court on Thursday upheld the verdict given by the Court of Misdemeanours in April, which found the man, 37, and his father, 72, guilty.

The judges were told the victim of the crime, an Iranian, opened a commercial mediation business in Dubai in March of last year and asked his friend to run it as he had to leave the UAE.

The friend, also from Iran, was offered a commission of between 2 and 5 per cent for each business deal.

“I had to return to Iran to run my other 20-year-old business and left him to run the one here. We have been family friends for more than 10 years,” the Iranian businessman said in court documents.

He said he returned to the emirate a few months later and found Dh13.5m was missing from the company's account.

“I wanted to buy a property and when I asked my friend for the money, he said he lost it in a digital currency deal,” he said.

He said he discovered the friend and his father received money from clients between March 17 and December 11 of last year but did not deposit it in the company’s account.

An audit confirmed the embezzlement and a report was filed with the police.

Payment receipts were submitted as proof to the court.

Judges were also given copies of text messages from the man’s wife in which she accepted the forgery committed by her husband and asked for time to repay.

The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours found the father and son guilty and fined them an amount equivalent to what they stole. They were also sentenced to one year in jail, to be followed by deportation.

Updated: October 15, 2022, 6:07 AM