Woman who insists she’s a Saudi princess is ‘sued for £14 million following claims she is a fraudster who tricked London tycoon in property scam worth millions’
- London property investors claim Sarah Al Amoudi, 30, told them she was from wealthy Saudi family
- Amanda Clutterbuck and Ian Paton transferred six properties to Ms Al Amoudi as security for property deal they believed her family would fund
- They say the promised deal did not materialise and they did not get the properties back
- Ms Al Amoudi is counter-suing, saying her family sent her £100,000 cash a week in suitcases – some of which she lent to Mr Paton
- Her lawyer will claim the properties were transferred to her for nominal sum as reimbursement for loans, High Court hears
Property tycoon Amanda Clutterbuck and her partner Ian Paton say they transferred six properties worth millions of pounds to Sarah Al Amoudi, 30, for a nominal fee after she told them she was the daughter of a Saudi billionaire.
They believed Miss Al Amoudi would use them as security for a larger property deal they believed would be funded by her wealthy family.
But when the promised deal never happened and Ms Al Amoudi did not give back the properties, Ms Clutterbuck and Mr Paton decided to sue her for £14m, their lawyer Stuart Cakebread told London’s High Court today.
They claim she pulled off a ‘very accomplished fraud’ by convincing banks to give her huge loans on the basis that she was the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi, who is estimated to be worth £4.6bn.
Mr Cakebread said his clients were happy to transfer the six properties – including flats in Knightsbridge and Belgravia – into Ms Al Amoudi’s name for a fraction of their true worth because they believed her family would provide the rest of the funding needed for the deal.
Mr Cakebread told Mrs Justice Asplin: ‘Ms Al Amoudi represented to them that the funding of a particular venture could be provided from her family.
‘In order for that to happen, she required Miss Clutterbuck and Mr Paton to transfer six properties into her name at substantial under-values.
‘By deploying her fraudulent misrepresentations, she persuaded them to transfer the properties to her at nominal cost.
‘The only money she paid for the properties was in fact the costs of redeeming existing mortgages and charges on them which she largely funded with the monies she had already fraudulently obtained from HSBC Bank by representing herself to be someone she was not – the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth US$6.9bn,’ added the barrister.
‘The promised funding from Miss Al Amoudi never materialised. She now refuses to transfer the titles to the properties back to Miss Clutterbuck and Mr Paton.
‘Their case is that she is a fraud who lied to them [and] to banks in order to obtain loans, money [and] property.
‘The identity of Ms Al Amoudi is a key issue in this action’
He added: ‘Her claim to be a Saudi princess and the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi was a key factor which induced the claimants to enter into the joint ventures with her and to trust her…by transferring very valuable properties to her for, in effect, no consideration.
‘The false claims also induced banks to make available to her very large facilities and mortgages which helped fuel her fraudulent scheme.
‘The only shred of credibility that might attach to Ms Al Amoudi’s extraordinary claim…might derive from proof that she was indeed the daughter of Sheik Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi,’ he told the judge.
Mr Cakebread then said that Jonathan Seitler QC, for Ms Al Amoudi, would present a ‘very different’ version of events to the court.
‘Miss Al Amoudi says she received very substantial amounts of money in cash, sometimes more than £100,000-a-week, which was delivered to the UK from the Middle East in a suitcase,’ he said.
‘She says that she entrusted this money to Mr Paton for safekeeping and also loaned large amounts of this money to him over several years.
‘It is her case that the transfer of the title to the properties at a substantial undervalue was undertaken in order to reimburse the sums loaned by Ms Al Amoudi.
‘Consequently she denies the claimants are entitled to the relief sought as to the ownership of those properties and that they are now rightfully hers.
‘She also avers that Mr Paton still owes her money and that he stole money from the funds she entrusted to him. She counter-claims accordingly,’ said Mr Cakebread.
Ms Al Amoudi, who denies ever having participated in any joint ventures with the couple, left court after becoming tearful during the proceedings.
She was escorted into a chauffeur-driven black Rolls Royce with an ‘HRH’ number plate by three minders, one of whom carried her handbag to the car for her.
The hearing continues, with Ms Al Amoudi due to give evidence next week.