Dozens of Exential Group’s victims, a Dubai-based managed forex fund, announced that they requested Carlton Huxley, a UK firm of legal & law enforcement consultants, to carry out a review of the situation with a view to help recover their funds from the foreign exchange trading scheme.
Earlier in July, Finance Magnates reported about the multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme when the UAE’s regulators ordered Exential Group in Dubai Media City to cease operations following scores of complaints by clients that due payments had dried up.
According to the Thenational newspaper, Carlton Huxley’s investigators visited Dubai this week to interview several investors that have lost millions of dirhams with the fraudulent scheme, but are clinging on to the hope they could recover some funds from a successful legal case.
Carlton Huxley’s approach in the case is firstly trying to identify where the money is and then taking steps to recover it from Exential parent company which is based in the British Virgin Islands. Exential Group was using an offshore registered broker, FCI Markets, which is licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in the British Virgin Islands.
Excessive legal fees
Bill Ferguson, a senior investigator at Carlton Huxley, said his firm plans to speak with the local authorities to inform them of the scale of the problem in order for them to either cooperate with Carlton Huxley or at least work form their own approach on this case.
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He added: “From the work we’ve done so far, it appears the size of these schemes in terms of number of victims and the amount of money involved has not yet registered with the authorities here in Dubai.”
Meanwhile, several investors have already submitted legal documents to Dubai courts appealing for a judgement that could increase their chances of recovering some of their cash. However, some of them abandoned hope of recovering their balances as they can’t afford legal fees that are expected to start at around $2,000.
The alleged fraudulent company promised annual returns of up to 120 percent on an investment of as little as $25,000. But when investors tried to close their accounts they lost connections to Exential Group and were still unable to withdraw their money.
Mr Ferguson also said: “If the money has been stolen our view is to bring criminal and/or civil action against the company in the British Virgin Islands. We’ve been in the UAE to interview victims and conduct a forensic audit into where the money has gone, and the legitimacy of those transactions.”
“We are aware there have been three big schemes in Dubai in less than five years that have touched a large number of people, most of whom are cabin crew,” he added.
Airline cabin crew were one of the key groups targeted in Dubai by other investors to encourage more people to open up accounts with Exential.
Exential Group, which also uses the names Exential Mideast Commercial Brokers LLC, Tadawul ME, and Exential Mideast Investment LLC, matches perfectly the profile of MMA Forex, a Ponzi-like investment scheme in Dubai which collapsed in the summer of 2013. Investors lost millions at this time and the company’s chief executive, the Pakistani businessman, Malik Awan, was jailed for two years for fraud.