The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mohammed Yaseen, Staff Reporter
The Dubai Public Prosecution referred 19 people of different nationalities, four of whom are still at large, to the Criminal Court on charges of embezzling Dhs183.66 million from a law firm.
The defendants were accused of forging official documents and using them to establish 4 administrative and legal consultancy firms in several countries to seize the funds of an office they worked in.
The case dated back to 2017, when the owner of a Gulf law firm discovered that the prime suspect an office manager), along with the other defendants, tampered with the profits of his office. They forged the final statement of profits and other documents stating the loss of a legal consultancy proxy belonging to an international company.
The owner of the office filed a complaint in which he accused his office manager and a number of employees of forging documents and establishing legal consultancy offices in four countries with the aim of fraudulently seizing the money of his office from the clients of his office.
According to the official documents, the Dubai Public Prosecution levelled seven charges to the defendants including embezzlement of Dhs183.66 million owned by the law office through a proxy issued to the prime suspect without entering the amount in the office’s accounts.
The Dubai Public Prosecution also charged the prime suspect with leaking the data of clients and trademark owners who dealt with the law firm for the benefit of companies that he established with his wife and other defendants in Sharjah and Dubai free zones and four cities around the world with the aim of seizing the proceeds of the
According to the referral order, the prime suspect stole invoices from the law firm’s publications, illegally accessed the database, where he was able to copy, disclose and delete all the information related to the network of clients and trademark owners. He also forged the email shown in the law firm’s publications in order to deceive clients and correspond with offices that he established to seize the profits of the office and harm its interests.
In addition to breach of trust, the Dubai Public Prosecution charged the rest of defendants with assisting the prime suspect in all the previous charges and with illegally possessing funds. It also charged a European defendant with forging an electronic document and using it though he knew it was forged.
Earlier, the Sharjah Appeal Court upheld a preliminary ruling issued by the criminal court to sentence three employees, who were working in the same law firm, to three years in absentia and a fourth suspect to 6 months to be followed by deportation. The defendants were charged with forging official documents to establish an administrative consultancy company to seize the money of an office they worked for. The suspects were also obligated to pay the incurred judicial fees.
The office owner stated that the convicts submitted a forged undertaking to government entities in the Sharjah Free Zone Authority that they did not have residency visas in the UAE and this enabled them to set up a consultancy office to be able to defraud the office’s clients and collect the fees of its cases.
The defendants were carrying a radio similar to police’s, and showed some cuffs then asked the victims to accompany them to the police station.
Details of the case date back to January and May 2017, when the suspect embezzled 43 cheques worth Dhs1,300,000, the value of settlement of insurance contracts of the victims.
Official records point out that the defendants had issued 10 numbers from a telecommunications company, using the forged government contracts, and used them to send out scam messages to steal the targeted victims’ money.
A bank’s service agent forged a customer’s signature on a cheque, which he stole form his chequebook, and managed to withdraw Dhs1.2 million from the account concerned. The customer was reportedly completing a transaction at the suspect’s office when the latter surreptitiously stole a cheque from the former’s chequebook.
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