Exential company scamsters get 500 years each in prison for $200 million Ponzi scheme
The office premises of Exential.
Dubai: A UAE lawyer representing a group of victims bilked out of investments by a $200 million Ponzi scheme said a Dubai court sentencing of 500 years imprisonment for the two men behind the scam may help recover some of his clients’ money.
Atty Barney Almazar, Director of Gulf Law, is working with the Filipino Embassy to assist victims of the financial crimes for which Exential CEO Sydney Lemos and colleague Ryan Fernandez were convicted on hundreds of criminal cases.
Almazar is the legal advocate of a number of Filipinos who invested in Exential. Many victims, including a group of 90 people, lost their retirement and life savings, others took out loans to be able to invest.
“The court decision of more than 500 years imprisonment sends a very strong message to the public that Dubai is not taking financial crimes lightly,” Atty Barney Almazar, Director of Gulf Law who is helping many of the victims, told Gulf News on Tuesday.
Many of the victims were also airline crew working for Emirates airline.
“This judgment can be used to support the victims’ civil claims and efforts in locating the assets of the company. The decision will be acceptable in foreign jurisdictions. In any criminal act, the fruits of the crime are considered and illegal and will be forfeited. The victims moved a step further to reach their objective to collect their investments. Of course there is a process and this is not a guarantee,” Almazar said.
Exential disguised a Ponzi scheme as a legitimate foreign currency trading programme, offering up to 120 per cent annual returns on investments before their office was shut down by the Dubai Economic Department (DED) in July 2016.
Earlier reports said around 7,000 UAE residents lost their life’s savings in the scam.