Former Abraaj executive pleads guilty to U.S. charges

By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former executive of collapsed Dubai private equity firm Abraaj Capital Ltd on Friday pleaded guilty to U.S. fraud and conspiracy charges, admitting that he lied to investors about the firm's financial health and track record. Former Abraaj Managing Partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, 49, entered his plea before Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan

Reuters June 29, 2019 01:06:53 IST
Former Abraaj executive pleads guilty to U.S. charges

Former Abraaj executive pleads guilty to US charges

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former executive of collapsed Dubai private equity firm Abraaj Capital Ltd on Friday pleaded guilty to U.S. fraud and conspiracy charges, admitting that he lied to investors about the firm's financial health and track record.

Former Abraaj Managing Partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, 49, entered his plea before Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan. He has agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors in a criminal fraud case targeting five other former Abraaj executives.

In a prepared statement read in court, Abdel-Wadood said he deceived investors at the direction of Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi, who is fighting extradition to the United States in London.

"I share responsibility for what happened," Abdel-Wadood said. "I regret my involvement more deeply than anyone can imagine."

"This is a tragic story of a good man who stayed at Abraaj to try to rectify the madness that Arif Naqvi created and along the way participated in the wrongful conduct that he has acknowledged today," Abdel-Wadood's lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said in a statement.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment.

Abdel-Wadood was arrested in New York in April and released on bail, while Naqvi and another former managing partner were arrested in the UK. Three more former executives were charged earlier this month, but it was not clear whether they had been arrested.

Abraaj had been the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed in mid-2018 after investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, raised concerns about the management of its $1 billion healthcare fund.

In an indictment, U.S. prosecutors said that from about 2014 until Abraaj's collapse, Abraaj executives lied about the performance of the firm's funds, inflating their value by more than $500 million.

Prosecutors have said "at least hundreds of millions" of investor funds were misappropriated, either to disguise liquidity shortfalls or for the personal benefit of executives.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

China bans German pork imports after African swine fever case
Business

China bans German pork imports after African swine fever case

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China banned pork imports from Germany on Saturday after it confirmed its first case of African swine fever last week, in a move set to hit German producers and push up global prices as China's meat supplies tighten. China's ban on imports from its third largest supplier comes as the world's top meat buyer deals with an unprecedented pork shortage after its own epidemic of the deadly hog disease. The ban on Germany, which has supplied about 14% of China's pork imports so far this year, will push up demand for meat from other major suppliers like the United States and Spain, boosting global prices.

Libya's Haftar committed to ending oil blockade, U.S. says
Business

Libya's Haftar committed to ending oil blockade, U.S. says

CAIRO (Reuters) - Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar has committed to ending a months-long blockade of oil facilities, the U.S.

AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine halted by patient illness
Business

AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine halted by patient illness

By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday. The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, developed with researchers from the University of Oxford, were suspended this week after an illness in a study subject in Britain, casting doubts on an early rollout