Al Boom sentenced to 923 years in prison

Property magnate used investors' cash for luxury lifestyle.

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DUBAI // The Emirati property magnate Abed al Boom was convicted yesterday of 3,695 charges of fraud and sentenced to 923 years and nine months in prison - three months for each offence.

Al Boom was not present at the special tribunal court hearing when it issued its verdict. He was found guilty of breaching the trust of 3,706 investors and embezzling Dh960 million of their money.

Judge El Saeed Bargouth acquitted him of 11 further charges of fraud. Al Boom's five co-accused, who included his brother and two women, were cleared of all charges.

Despite the lengthy prison sentence, al Boom may serve only 10 years in jail, the maximum under the UAE penal code when combined sentences add up to 20 years or more.

Al Boom spent investors' money on parties, boats and luxury cars. Only one per cent of the stolen money was recovered and seized by authorities.

A member of al Boom's defence team said yesterday they were waiting to read the judgment sheet before filing an appeal.