After spending more than a year in prison, the Lemos family will go on appeal against the 500+ year sentence that was given after discovery that Sydney Lemos had cheated thousands out of their life savings.
The Lemos family will appeal the 500+ year sentence
If one recalls, Lemos was the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme which came to light two years ago. Almost 7000+ UAE residents working in the aviation and gas sectors had invested money in Lemos’s Exential Group. With a Ponzi scheme of over 200 million, Sydney managed to dupe a majority of them out of their life savings. Investors took him to court and are demanding to know where their money is. In the meantime, he, and his senior accounts specialist, Ryan de Souza were given sentences of over 500 years each.
Now, the Lemos family will appeal to the courts against this sentencing. The Lemos family’s advocate Wilbur Menezes, will travel to Dubai to file the appeal. He told the newspapers that he is confident that Sydney and Valany Lemos will be vindicated.
“Sydney Lemos was running a legitimate forex trading business wherein customers knew the risks involved, in furtherance of which they entered into agreements. At the most, the actions may make out a civil wrong for contractual breach, but by no stretch of imagination and creativity can a criminal wrong be made out. It is unfortunate that a purely civil contractual breach has been given the color of criminal litigation to meet hidden agendas,” he told TOI.
Sydney’s wife Valany makes an appearance and speaks up
Valany Cardozo Lemos, Sydney’s wife has also re-appeared. According to her, her husband was duped and set up by one of Exential’s relationship managers. Valany says that it was this manager who conspired along with two of the company’s investors to create panic among the remaining ones. Valany says that it was because he wanted to start a forex trading company himself. In creating the panic, Exential investors would withdraw their investments and close their accounts.
That not the end of the story. Valany further adds that the relationship manager and his 2 accomplices, also filed false complaints in 2016 with the Al Barsha Police concerning trading losses. These were given lots of coverage on social media and from there, more investors panicked and filed more claims and complaints based on ‘false information’. She said that Sydney could have easily left Dubai then but he chose to stay and address the claims. However, he misjudged the level of investor panic and the amount of damage that the co-conspirators had done.
Valany also said that she never fled from Dubai nor did she take any documents and files from Exential’s sealed offices. Valany even mentioned that while she left Dubai on 3rd January 2016 for a wedding in Goa, Sydney was arrested almost 2 weeks after that. “The Dubai Economic Department (DED) had already sealed our office and we were using another office space in the same building to meet customers. However, again false and unverified information was spread by the relationship manager of a break in,” she said. Additionally, she said that she was “in no way connected to the company and was merely an authorized signatory in my husband’s absence concerning company contracts”.
Advocate Wilson Menezes is confident that the couple is not guilty of any criminal activity and that he will be able to prove it.