PHOENIX (CN) – A real estate company claims that an alleged member of the Saudi royal family failed to honor a $94.9 million property purchase agreement and defrauded investors in a check-kiting scheme – and that some of the money may have been used “for activities hostile to the United States”. Foundations Investment Group claims that Sultan Alshaie and Royal Holdings produced false government documents to promote themselves as “international business investors” who operated in prominent business circles.
Foundations aka FIG Global claims in Maricopa County Court that one of the Alshaies’ false documents was a bank statement showing nearly $220 million in the account.
FIG says it entered “a venture of international investing into prestigious properties around the world” with Alshaie, who claimed he was interested in a resort property in Madeira, Portugal.
Alshaie and Royal Holdings allegedly transferred $80 million to a Swiss banking institution for the joint venture, prompting FIG to complete a final investment agreement, only to find that the transfer was “a decoy which allowed for multiple ghost transfers of exactly the same amount to be wired to other recipients in other parts of the world.”
The complaint states: “(A)uthorities from the United States government familiar with this transaction and others like it, including the parties involved, suspected that these funds were used for activities hostile to the United States”.
When the defendants transferred the money into the United States, Alshaie claimed that the accounts were frozen under the Patriot Act, and he continued to claim they were frozen though he actually had access to them, according to the complaint.
FIG says Alshaie then blew off its written demand for performance.
FIG Global seeks rescission, refunds and $94.6 million in damages. Also named as defendants are Nassir Alshaie, Ahmed Alshaie, the Alshaie Family Trust, Bernard Otremba-Blanc, Royal Holdings LLC and Royal Energy LLC.
FIG Global is represented by Rick Poster.