Former Abraaj exec to stand trial in US in November

A bail hearing has been scheduled for next week in New York, although a judge believes Mustafa Abdel Wadood is a 'palpable' flight risk
Former Abraaj exec to stand trial in US in November
Former Abraaj managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 24 Apr 2019 09:41 AM

Former Abraaj Group managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood is set to stand trial in a US federal court in November, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Abdel Wadood, 49, is facing fraud charges after allegedly working with former Abraaj CEO Arif Naqvi to defraud investors of hundreds of millions of dollars before the $13 billion private equity firm collapsed last year.

On Wednesday, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan set up a November 4 date for the trial to begin.

Additionally, he directed Abdel-Wadood’s attorney, Paul Shechtman, to try to negotiate a bail package with prosecutors.

A tentative hearing has been scheduled for Monday to hear arguments if necessary.

In his remarks, Judge Kaplan said that it obtaining a bail agreement for Abdel-Wadood will likely be difficult.

“The possibility of this man being a flight risk is palpable,” he said.

Schechtman – who took over as Abdel-Wadood’s lawyer from Ben Brafman earlier this week – said he would propose a “reasonable and tough-minded” bail package, according to Law360.com

Abdel-Wadood was arrested at a New York City hotel room on April 11 while travelling to shop for colleges for his son.

Abraaj Group CEO Arif Naqvi was arrested in London and now faces possible extradition to the United States, although prosecutor Andrea Griswold has noted that it the extradition process may take as long as two-years.

Another Abraaj executive, managing partner Sivendran Vittivetpillai, was arrested in London on April 19 and is also charged with defrauding investors and manipulating fund valuations.

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