Manager jailed for Dhs1 million realty scam - GulfToday

Manager jailed for Dhs1 million realty scam

Jail

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

A man who posed as a realty company owner to swindle Dhs1 million from an investor will spend two years behind bars, a jury ruled on Wednesday.

The Asian manager, 38, was found guilty of swindling the money and faking a copy of an apartment ownership certificate that he presented to the victim claiming he bought him an apartment in Al Barsha.

He on Sept.4 denied forgery and admitted to embezzlement. “The forgery was done by a friend. I wanted to refund but the victim kept demanding more.” The Criminal Court ordered his deportation after the jail term.

The Pakistani victim, 52, learnt from a friend that the defendant was a trustworthy realty investments dealer. “I contacted and met him. He told me he had a company. I wired more than Dhs1m to his account so he could invest it for me.

“He sent me an email that he purchased a property for me. He sent me another showing that he finalised all procedures. He attached a certificate copy. I went to the real estate regulatory authority and learnt that the document was fake.”

During a meeting, the victim asked for its original. “He handed me a laminated certificate. I told him the authority told me it was fake. He apologised and promised to repay Dhs1.2 million in addition to Dhs50,000 travel expenses.

“He gave me a Dhs1.2 million cheque. It bounced because the account was closed a long time ago. He gave me another equivalent cheque but it also bounced as a result of discrepancies in the signature,” explained the victim.

“I returned to him again. He handed me a third equivalent cheque. I asked him to escort me to the bank. I submitted it. It also bounced because there was only Dhs3 left in his account. I lodged a complaint with the police.”

The defendant upon arrest said he entered several realty agreements with the victim and received Dhs1m from him. “I found a flat that I wanted to buy for him. However, I delayed to transfer its ownership.

“I first invested Dhs400,000. On grounds that I had financial constraints, I spent the rest of the money on my needs. He asked me for the copy of the ownership certificate of the flat I claimed to have bought for him.

“He was insisting on seeing it. I contacted a friend who sent me a fake copy. I sent it to him.” However, the defendant altered his statement before prosecutors and claimed he learnt it was fake after sending it to the victim.