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$2.5 billion claim against Cayman Islands companies to go to trial
Published on April 22, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

WASHINGTON, USA -- On Monday, 14 April 2014, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company ("AHAB") won two rulings in the Cayman Islands against ten companies created and controlled by Maan Al Sanea as the principal offshore component of a fraudulent scheme he operated from Saudi Arabia.

"We are now one step closer to recovering the monies that Maan Al Sanea stole from AHAB and financial institutions around the world, and then stashed in Cayman shell companies," said Simon Charlton, acting CEO and chief restructuring officer of AHAB. "The Cayman court has already awarded AHAB a $2.5 billion judgment against Maan Al Sanea personally in this case, and we are confident of a similar result as we go to trial with his companies and their administrators."

The two rulings relate to litigation AHAB filed in 2009, claiming that Al Sanea and his companies based in the Cayman Islands participated in the fraud together and that the companies were recipients of billions of dollars obtained from the operation. All of the companies are now in liquidation, and many of them applied to the Cayman court to dismiss the claims against them.

The first ruling last week related to an application filed by nine companies being administered by Grant Thornton. Last year, the Cayman court rejected their application to strike out a large portion of AHAB's claim, and they filed an appeal. On Monday, the Cayman Island Court of Appeal denied this appeal, and these companies now must face trial of AHAB's claims against them.

The second ruling last week related to AHAB's appeal of a decision last year to dismiss the case against another of Al Sanea's companies, called SIFCO No. 5. The Court of Appeal agreed with AHAB and overturned the lower court's dismissal. The case against SIFCO No. 5 will now proceed to trial along with the other Al Sanea companies.

In the same case, AHAB has already succeeded in obtaining a $2.5 billion interim award against Al Sanea himself, an award that was vigorously contested by the companies being administered by Grant Thornton. In rejecting the companies' arguments, the Cayman court concluded "[t]here is a patent and now deemed proven dishonesty involved."

This week's ruling should be positive news for banks asserting claims against AHAB for money lost as a result of Al Sanea's scheme. AHAB recently announced that it has invited financial institutions with claims against the company to attend a meeting in Dubai, UAE, on May 7, 2014, at which AHAB will outline the terms of a comprehensive settlement agreement. The proposed settlement will be based on AHAB's existing assets and funds that can be recovered in the future from Al Sanea and his companies, including those in the Cayman Islands.
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