A first decision “on the merits” in a legal series which unleashes the passions of the French start-up ecosystem. Oussama Ammar and two of his personal companies were ordered by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands to pay more than 7 million euros to The Family. Proceedings were initiated in February 2022 before the courts of the Caribbean archipelago by the former associates of the Franco-Lebanese entrepreneur who accuse him of embezzlement in one of the numerous subsidiaries of the famous incubator, registered in the Caymans.
The precise amount of 7,367,787.97 euros for which Oussama Ammar is deemed “owable” by the Grand Court of the archipelago does not only include the embezzled sums – 3,151,186 euros in total. This money was initially raised by Oussama Ammar to be invested in successful American start-ups (including Stripe, Airbnb, or Algolia), the judges also calculated the shortfall for The Family – the loss amounts to at 3,946,818.22 euros. The conviction in the Cayman Islands also means that Osama Ammar is listed in international files, like OffshoreAlert.
Osama Ammar's defense, who has 14 days from Tuesday to file an appeal, refused to take part in this procedure at the request of their client. This failure resulted in the person concerned being ordered to pay a fine of 150,000 Cayman Islands dollars (approximately 165,000 euros). He explained this in a video published in September on his YouTube channel. “I am not going to spend my money unnecessarily on procedures that make no sense,” he declared, believing that there was no “contradictory”. Osama Ammar, on the other hand, appeared before the French and British courts where other procedures were initiated.
The legal battle that the former managers of the start-up incubator The Family have been engaged in for several years is based on accusations of embezzlement and money laundering targeting Osama Ammar. His former acolytes Nicolas Colin and Alice Zagury accuse him of having stolen several million euros from the coffers of a subsidiary 100% managed by the third co-founder of The Family. These embezzlements, for which he is today sentenced in the Caymans, would have been used according to the prosecution to finance a charming estate in Normandy, the Ablon estate.
The two associates who consider themselves wronged by The Family declare that they are now preparing “the next steps with a view to recovery from the defendants”. This “will require action in other jurisdictions,” they believe. The ongoing investigation in London will lead to a trial in November 2024. The Cayman judgment recalls that a freezing order of the assets of Osama Ammar and his two condemned companies was signed by the authorities Caymanian judicial authorities at the start of the proceedings in March 2022 and that it remains in full force. Le Figaro has learned that a seizure order had been signed by the British authorities in another aspect of the case where Osama Ammar was involved.