CAIRO: Cairo Economic Court on Saturday sentenced businessman Ahmed al-Mesterayah to 15 years in prison over asset misappropriation and fraud charges, Youm7 reported.
The court also fined the convict 150 million EGP ($ 17.5 m) and ordered him to repay the 266 million EGP he was accused of stealing.
Mesterayah is charged of collecting large amounts of investment from locals in Upper Egypt with promised return rates ranging from 15-25 percent a month, while the best state or private bank could offer is around 13 percent a year.
In April 2015, financial and public fund prosecutors in several governorates in Upper Egypt investigated claims filed against Mesterayah accusing him of collecting large amounts of money to allegedly establish investments for the victims.
A warrant was issued against the convict who was arrested in Cairo’s district of Dokki before former Attorney General Hisham Barakat issued an order seizing his property and funds.
Most victims said that Mesterayah was punctual in paying interest since he started the business in 2011 until early 2015.
In a phone call that aired on Al-Mehwar TV satellite channel before he was arrested, the businessman said that he “had been experiencing a financial drop” and asked the creditors to give him time to pay the money back.