Following a 4 week trial at Southwark Crown Court, Businessman Elie Taktouk has been unanimously convicted of 11 counts of fraud and dishonesty offences relating to a failed property redevelopment in Knightsbridge. Sentencing will take place on 2 September, 2021.
Rebecca Chalkley was instructed by Edmonds Marshall McMahon and was a member of the Counsel team.
Renowned in the Lebanese and Nigerian communities, the Taktouk family are reportedly worth over an estimated £150 million, boasting a number of business interests in Nigeria and Lebanon in the transport, flour mill, insurance and property investment industries.
Elie Taktouk leveraged his reputation as a wealthy property tycoon to dupe investors into investing large sums totalling £2.5million through a series of calculated lies about the true state of the redevelopment.
Instead, Mr Taktouk kept the investors’ funds for himself, living a life of extravagance at the expense of the investors. This life of luxury included using the investors’ funds for expensive private school fees for his children, the purchase of a Porsche, paying rent at a luxury property in Kensington (exceeding £21,000 per month) and shopping sprees at Harrods totalling thousands of pounds. Mr Taktouk also used the investors’ funds to cover legal fees from his widely publicised divorce from Daniella Semaan, who went on to marry former Chelsea football player Cesc Fabregas.
The private prosecution was brought by Adrien and Frank who were defrauded of £2.5 million and is significant because it illustrates a growing trend for private prosecutions to be brought by individuals, corporates and charities to investigate complex fraud.
Rebecca Chalkley specialises in financial crime and regulation. She has over 20 years experience of financial and commercial wrongdoing, including fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption and market abuse. She is Standing Counsel to the Insolvency Service (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy-BEIS). She has been instructed in various cases that have resulted in DPAs, including what is understood to be the largest to date. She regularly advises and acts in both Private and Public Prosecutions, involving both individuals and corporates.
Read full press release here: [EMMLegal]