Businessman gets 15-year sentence in UAE dispute

AP News
Posted: May 24, 2017 7:36 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A court has sentenced a businessman accused of stealing $1.5 billion while working for a sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates to 15 years in prison.

The government of Ras al-Khaimah also says Khater Massaad and an associate must repay $17.2 million that the emirate accuses them of embezzling in the scam.

Ras al-Khaimah said in a statement on Wednesday that the case involved diverting public funds in relation to a seaport project in the country of Georgia.

Massaad, who was arrested in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, in September, strongly denied the allegations leveled against him by Ras al-Khaimah, where he once ran the sheikhdom's sovereign wealth fund.

Massaad holds Swiss citizenship and has business interests in several countries, including Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.