Sir Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic pilots, staffers and investors. To his right is Mohamed Badawy Al Husseiny, CEO of Aabar, which made a $280 million in Virgin Galactic. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
by Douglas MessierManaging Editor
You might call him the crook that fell to Earth.
Ten years ago, Mohamed Badawy Al Husseiny was sitting next to Sir Richard Branson at the Oshkosh air show signing a deal on behalf of Abu Dhabi to invest $280 million in the British billionaire’s space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic.
The wealthy CEO of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, aabar investments, likely had dreams of gazing down on Earth while floating in space aboard Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo.
Today, Al-Husseiny is sitting in a jail cell serving a 10-year sentence for financial crimes. He also has been implicated in one of the largest financial frauds in history involving the theft of more than $4 billion.
Aabar ultimately invested $390 million into Virgin Galactic in exchange for a 37.6 percent ownership stake in the company. There has been no evidence of any wrong doing on the part of Branson or Virgin Galactic.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Al Husseiny was sentenced to jail in ...