PANAJI: A Dubai court on Sunday sentenced two Goans—37-year-old Sydney Lemos and his senior accounts specialist 25-year-old Ryan de Souza—to over 500 years each in jail for duping thousands of investors in a $200 million scam. Lemos lured the investors by offering them 120% annual returns on a minimum investment of $25,000 through his company Exential.
Lemos, a junior football player who went on to sponsor FC Goa club in 2015 and owned FC Bardez club in Dubai, cheated investors out of their retirement and lifetime savings under a Ponzi scheme that was disguised as a forex scheme.
The company paid profits initially, but stopped paying the investors after the scheme collapsed in March 2016 and the Dubai Economic Department shut down the company’s offices in July 2016. A case has also been registered against Lemos’s wife Valany for illegally entering the sealed office in December last year and taking out documents.
Lemos, who is from Mapusa in Goa, was arrested first in December 2016 but was let out on bail. He was arrested again in mid-January last year. Ryan, a resident of Siolim, was held from the Dubai airport in February last year, as he was leaving for India, while Lemos’s wife Valany managed to escape to Goa.
Many investors, like a Goan working Dubai, believe that it was just a bad investment.