Jun 07 2010
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Dubai Tycoon took cash to live the high life
Abid Al Boom, the owner of Abid Al Boom Management and Development Properties, was a struggling businessman in 2004, driving around in a car worth just dhs30,000.
But three years later, prosecutors allege, he was living a jet-set lifestyle with 53 high-end cars, a yacht and two boats on which he would throw parties for his friends and hold business meetings.
The details of his spending spree emerged at Dubai Misdemeanors Court, where he is on trial for the 'betrayal of trust' of 3,700 investors. It is alleged he took nearly dhs900 million from them.
Al Boom is accused of taking money from clients, telling them he would invest it in property. He offered them a guaranteed return, and even paid dividends initially.
But, in reality, prosecutors claim, he was blowing the money on a life of luxury.
"He spent the money for his own gain and to improve his social standing. He left victims helpless," Hussain told the court. "In 2004, he owned one car by just before the scandal broke in 2007 he owned 53 fancy cars... From where did he get this money in just a couple of years?
Fraudster 'must be punished'
"He bought those cars using the savings and cash of his victims. Some of them are now in jail because they had taken out a loan and gave the money to Al Boom. When they failed to repay the loan, they were sent to jail.
Al Boom has hurt many families."
Hussain told how the Emirati businessman spent tens of millions of dirhams on "polishing up his image and on parties".
"He was even donating money to football clubs and to the fans to make himself more popular," Hussain added.
"Some prosecutors even trusted him and gave their money to him to invest it... Justice must be done and Al Boom must be punished for his acts."
Al Boom has been charged with betrayal of trust and bouncing cheques.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, has previously issued a decree setting up a judicial committee to liquidate the assets of Al Boom.
The committee is responsible for collecting the money and paying back the creditors.
The case has been adjourned until June 27, when the defence will make its closing speech.
If convicted, Al Boom could be sentenced to up to two years in prison. However, he could remain in jail until he pays back all his victims.
Prosecutors allege dhs900 million of investors' money bought him...
53 Top-End Cars
A Luxury Yacht
Two 'Party' Boats
Friends In Football
By Ali Al Shouk
© 7Days 2010
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