Duff & Phelps Assists in Exposing "Largest Ponzi Scheme in History"

Judgment was handed down on May 31 in the biggest ever trial to take place in the Cayman Islands, AHAB v SICL et al, relating to a supposed $9.2 billion fraud.  Allegations of fraud were dismissed, with the Court finding instead that the Claimants, a prominent Saudi family business, had engaged in a long-running fraud against over 100 banks.

Duff & Phelps’ Nick Matthews and Mark Longbottom, leading a team of professionals in the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom, acted as liquidators of one of the defendants, known as SIFCO5. Duff & Phelps’s work was central in investigating the conduct of the Claimant over a period of nearly 30 years. Dealing with evidence in both English and Arabic, the investigation challenged the assertion that the Claimant had been an innocent victim. It was ruled by the Court that the Claimants had, in fact, been complicit and actively participated in the fraudulent activities. Arising from the trial and investigation, the total fraudulent borrowing over almost three decades is estimated to be approaching US$1 trillion, amounting to “the largest ever Ponzi scheme.”  An appeal by the Claimant is expected. 

Duff & Phelps’ Governance, Risk, Investigations and Disputes team continues to work on high profile cases, drawing together multi-disciplined teams including disputes, investigations and insolvency professionals to provide in-depth technical expertise, strategic vision and commerciality on a global scale. 

Read the Executive Summary here.

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