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FBI Nabs Conman Who Posed as Emirati Prince

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on February 16, 2024, 19:38:09

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swindler, Emirati man , conman, arrested

A fraudster who posed as an Emirati prince to swindle investors out of millions was apprehended by the FBI. Alex Tannous, a 38-year-old Lebanese, had deceived individuals globally through intricate schemes before his recent arrest in San Antonio, Texas.

Upon his return from abroad for a child custody matter, he was promptly detained by the FBI and ordered to be held without bond. Tannous faces a potential 20-year prison sentence if convicted.

The FBI's criminal complaint affidavit exposed Tannous's elaborate masquerade as a UAE businessman and diplomat with supposed ties to Emirati royalty. In reality, he was a skilled con artist, manipulating victims into parting with hundreds of thousands of dollars. The affidavit revealed his modus operandi, where victims were coerced to transfer funds to entities under his ownership and control to secure financing.

Investigations unveiled Tannous's fraudulent activities extended worldwide, affecting individuals like Marc De Spiegelerie from Belgium, who felt a sense of vindication upon hearing about Tannous's arrest. De Spiegelerie, who lost 700,000 euros (Dh2.77 million) to Tannous, expressed relief at the prospect of justice. He recounted his experience of being duped into investing in a purportedly lucrative project in Doha, Qatar, after Tannous's convincing display of wealth and connections.

Similarly, Omar Y Abouhalala from Libya revealed his ordeal, alleging a loss of Dh1.15 million and seeking justice through Dubai Courts. Tannous operated under various aliases, including Equico Enterprises Inc., through which he falsely claimed to be an Emirati official scouting US companies for UAE ventures. Despite receiving substantial sums from investors, his promised ventures failed to materialise.

Contrary to his self-proclaimed titles as a World Peace Ambassador for the UAE and founder of a Dubai-based conglomerate, court records painted a starkly different picture of Tannous. Financial dependency on family allowances and his former wife's income, coupled with bankruptcy filings to evade disgruntled investors, exposed the reality behind his facade of wealth and influence.

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