‘No point in pursuing accusers’, says Mulchandani

Real estate tycoon acquitted of fraud charges says may sue media outlets over claims
By Shane McGinley
Sun 22 May 2011 08:49 AM

Kabir
Mulchandani, the real estate tycoon cleared of fraud charges in December, said
he will not sue his accusers but may take legal action against media outlets
that published defamatory claims against him.

Mulchandani,
former chairman of property firm Dynasty Zarooni, was arrested in 2009 and
spent 140 days in custody on charges of running a real estate scam.

Though cleared of
all charges in December, the businessman said the episode cost his firm AED342m
($93m) on the case and in lost business.

“It is a lot but you don’t see me making cases against
people or to get my money back,” he said. “I was very tempted, and this might
sound philosophical but I don’t need this bad energy in my life. They know in
their heads what they have done and I know where I stand on this. I have
cleared my name.”

The details of the case were reported in various media
publications in the Middle East. Forbes magazine referred to Mulchandani as the
‘Madoff of the Middle East’ and the businessman has said he is mulling legal
action. 

“[I am] extremely angry. There is no justification for them
writing this. I did speak to lawyers and I may, or may not pursue legal
action.”

Up to 20 investors pursued Mulchandani over claims they had
paid a monthly fee of AED300,000 for an scheme that promised a return of AED1m after six months.

Mulchandani said
the fee was a non-refundable charge for real estate services, such as
advertising and priority access to resale units on developments .

In December 2010,
a Dubai court ruled in favour of Mulchandani, deeming the fraud allegations to
be “baseless and without foundation and without evidence.”

The businessman
has since launched a new property venture, SKA1, and plans to generate up to
AED1bn in real estate deals by the year-end.

The company aims
to offer funding to real estate projects which have a viable future, but are in
need of bridging capital to meet their complete date.

“There are a lot
of good projects out there and a lot of quality developers; I meet them all the
time… [but] there is a lack of traditional capital,” he said.

“I want to move on and focus on my business. I see market
opportunities.”

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