Two sentenced to 10 years following Dubai Waterfront fraud

By Chris Sleight22 May 2013

Situated on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Dubai Waterfront is expected to house around 1.5

Situated on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Dubai Waterfront is expected to house around 1.5m people when finished.

A former employee of Dubai, UAE-based real estate developer Nakheel and the manager of an investment company have been sentenced to 10 years each in jail, following convictions for fraud relating to the Dubai Waterfront project. The pair must also pay fines totalling AED 44 million (US$ 12 million) and repay the AED 44 million (US$ 12 million) defrauded from Nakheel.

Mathew Joyce, a former executive manager of the Dubai Waterfront, one of the Emirates’ several man-made islands, is was found guilty of conspiring with Angus Reed of Prudentia Investments to defraud Nakheel through the private sale of a plot of land on the Waterfront development. Two former Nakheel employees, Anthony Brearley and Marcus Lee, have been cleared of any on similar charges. All four are Australian nationals.

Dubai’s Court of First Instance heard that Mr Joyce struck a deal to sell a plot of land on the Waterfront to Mr Reed at a reduced price and with a 5% down payment instead of the usual 15%. Mr Reed is then said to have sold-on the plot. This fraud and other allegations of corruption on the Waterfron t project first came to light in 2009 and led to multiple arrests.

Mr Joyce is reported to protest his innocence and has been quoted by local media as saying he will appeal against the judgement. Mr Reed is believed to be in Melbourne, Australia, and was sentenced in his absence.

The conclusion of the trail has also seen the release of Mr Lee, after more than four years under house arrest in Dubai.

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