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Wed 28 Sep 2011 06:18 PM

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Ex-Unicorn CEO says fraud probe results flawed

Former chief exec of Bahrain investment bank hits back after accused of 58 criminal offences

Ex-Unicorn CEO says fraud probe results flawed
The former chief executive and founder of Bahrains Unicorn Investment Bank is accused of committing 58 criminal offences

Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank's former chief executive said on Wednesday consultancy Deloitte did not disclose its interests in an investigation which concluded the ex-CEO had committed 58 criminal offences.

His comments came a day after Unicorn said an investigation by Deloitte had found that Majid Al-Refai, who left the bank in August 2010, committed criminal offences including misappropriating bank funds.

The investment firm also said the Bahrain general prosecutor, who commissioned the Deloitte investigation, had referred the case to Bahrain's criminal court.

"I am disappointed that the supposedly independent third-party firm engaged by the BPP (Bahrain Public Prosecutor) ... has not disclosed its personal interest in these matters which gives rise to a conflict of interest," Al-Refai said in a statement on Wednesday.

The former executive also said he had submitted "clear" evidence as part of his full cooperation with the review. "I am disappointed that this evidence was excluded from the findings of Deloitte," he said in the statement.

However he did not say what the alleged conflict of interest was based on and gave no detail of the evidence he said he had submitted. He could not be reached for further comment.

No-one at Deloitte's regional office in Beirut could be reached for comment and the BPP did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Sources told Reuters in August of last year that Al-Refai left the company due to a dispute with its board over strategy. Ikbal Daredia was appointed acting chief executive in his place.

Unicorn has also filed two civil cases against Al-Refai and two other former employees to retrieve allegedly misappropriated funds. The company has not provided details on how much money is involved.

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