They abused their public office and misappropriated funds.
A former chairman of a public department in Abu Dhabi and the former Chief Executive Officer of the same entity have been jointly ordered to pay 300 million euros in fines and refunds for embezzling public funds.
The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance also sentenced the former Emirati chairman to 15 years in jail and gave a 10-year-jail sentence to the former expat CEO after they were both found guilty of abusing public office and misappropriating public funds.
Official court documents stated that the Emirati, who was heading the government department misappropriated 149 million euros after he sold out shares he owned in a private real eastate firm to the same public entity he headed at higher prices compared to the market value of the shares.
Officials said the shares were sold out to the government department at exaggerated prices amounting to 210 million euros.
The pair had lied to the department’s board of directors that the shares belonged to a certain private company.
Prosecutors said the executive director had facilitated the chairman in executing the deal and conspired with him to misappropriate the public funds.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Finance had begun investigations into the matter after getting information that there was corruption in the purchase of the shares which involved the two defendants.
The Emirati defendant was charged with abusing public office, misappropriating public funds and causing financial harm to the public department he was heading.
The second defendant was charged with facilitating the misappropriation of public funds, abuse of public office and harming the interests of the government department.
Technical evidence and testimonies from witnesses had confirmed that the second defendant had lied to the board of directors of the government department that the shares belonged to a certain bank. He also recommended the approval of the purchase of the shares claiming that these shares would boost the department and provide it with many investment opportunities the bank might offer in the future.
But investigations later revealed that the bought shares actually belonged to the former chairman of the government department.
The court also found that the transfer of the value of the shares to the first defendant’s bank account involved several steps and complications in order to hide facts about the ownership of the shares which was done in cooperation with the bank.
The first defendant had signed a commission agreement of 1 million euros with the bank from the cash obtained from the deal and 15 million euros for the intermediate company which acted as the broker.
Both have been told to pay fines of 149 million euros along with a fine of Dh51,000 and to jointly refund 149 million euros – they had misappropriated – to the government department (All totaling to nearly 300 million euros).
The expat CEO will be deported after serving his jail term.
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