THE glitzy Gulf states take pride in superlatives. They have the world’s tallest building, the biggest shopping mall, even (for a time) the most expensive cocktail. To that list, add a slightly less glamorous entry: what a judge has called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. On June 1st a court in the Cayman Islands issued a verdict in the long-running saga of Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company (AHAB), a conglomerate. When the Saudi company defaulted in 2009, its creditors scrambled to recoup billions in losses. The effective bankruptcy touched off lawsuits from Saudi Arabia to Switzerland. At last, after the longest trial in Cayman Islands’ history, it is one step closer to resolution.
No one emerged from court looking good. Central to the case was whether the founding Gosaibi family knew about fraud carried out by Maan al-Sanea, one of their firm’s executives. Born to a Kuwaiti family, Mr Sanea married into the family in 1980 and…Continue reading