FBI fugitive and Fortress Prime shareholder Hamed El-Barki jailed in the UAE
The law has finally caught up with convicted felon and Fortress Prime shareholder Hamed El-Barki who remains wanted by the FBI in the US. Whilst that warrant is still outstanding, Mr. Elbarki has been jailed in the UAE for issuing fraudulent checks
Defunct UAE-based ‘prime brokerage’ Fortress Prime had been the subject of much media attention over the past few months in the wake of delayed withdrawals, failure to pay suppliers and partners and claims that a restructure with $200 million of new funding would occur, which never materialized until eventually the company went belly up, with its owners having run off with what money was due to the majority of customers.
The high profile demise of the firm and the debts to customers it left behind were one matter, however the structure of the company was quite another as according to the US Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), Hamed Ahmed El-Barki, a convicted felon, is wanted for his alleged involvement in a mortgage-related scheme that defrauded individuals out of nearly $2 million.
Mr. Elbarki managed to escape justice in the United States for some 11 years, meanwhile conducing his nefarious activities at Fortress Prime in Dubai…. until now.
This week, Mr. Elbarki’s luck finally expired, and he has found himself incarcerated in jail in the United Arab Emirates.
Rubber checks with elastic corners
According to several sources close to the matter across many different regions within the industry, Mr. Elbarki finally fell on his fiscal sword as a result of issuing checks from a bank account which had no funds in it.
In the United Arab Emirates, that is a serious criminal offense.
In February this year, Fortress Prime, the ‘prime brokerage’ offshoot of Fortress Capital Investments made a scandalous exit from the commercial world, its website having gone offline and at a later point during our investigation, further aspects regarding this matter came to our attention, one of the most important being several claims that Fortress Prime is holding swathes of cash and can easily afford to pay back customers in full.
Moreover, as published on FinanceMagnates late March 2016, it is alleged that FXCM and two other large FCA regulated brokerage houses in Britain had exposure to the Fortress Prime saga and had allegedly used Fortress Prime to clear Forex and CFD orders to the tune of US$6.8m which has been written off.
Attempts by FinanceFeeds to verify this had at the time been unfruitful, however; this and other similar incidents may lead investors affected by the FortressPrime debacle to believe that the company may just end up getting away with it, however the net has closed in on Mr. Elbarki who is now likely to be subjected to a diet of porridge for quite some time.
Fortress Prime’s website disappeared and was replaced with a landing page which included all the dummy content provided by similar ready made templates.
With regard to Mr. Elbarki’s warrant for arrest by the FBI, that still remains outstanding and as the subject of the warrant is in a different jurisdiction for a different offense, therefore a further criminal trial would likely await once released from jail in Dubai if he attempted to enter the United States.