Real estate tycoon acquitted of fraud charges says may sue media outlets over claims
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.”