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Fraudsters Ordered to Pay Back GBP3 Million after Taking GBP766 Million in Loans

Sep 25, 2014
Achilleas Kallakis will serve an additional seven years in jail

Achilleas Kallakis will serve an additional seven years in jail

Achilleas Kallakis will serve an additional seven years in jail unless he returns GBP3 million within six months.

After fooling bankers into loaning him money which he then used to buy property and build a super-yacht, 46-year-old Achilleas Kallakis was sentenced to jail at the beginning of 2013, along with his partner Alexander Williams, who helped him forge financial guarantees.

Now the judge ordered Kallakis to pay back GBP3 million within the next six months. If he fails to do so, he’ll be facing another seven years in prison. His partner in crime Alexander Williams also has three months to return GBP477,000, or else he will be forced to serve a three-year sentence.

Both of them were originally sentenced to jail in January 2013, after the court found them guilty of conspiring to defraud banks through deception and forgery. The biggest victim was AIB.

DailyMail: Poker player who stole £750 million in property fraud to fund millionaire lifestyle of private jets, yachts and luxury villas is ordered to pay back just £3million

A high-rolling poker player who committed a GBP750 million bank fraud so he could fund a luxurious lifestyle for himself has been ordered to pay back just GBP3 million of that money. Achilleas Kallakis, 46, conned two banks into advancing huge loans so he could purchase 16 landmark properties in the UK.

The buildings bought by Kallakis, the nephew of a Greek shipping magnate, included the GBP225 million London headquarters of the Daily Telegraph, as well as a GBP100 million Home Office building located in Croydon.

Known for his impressive poker results after winning $1 million in one game, Kallakis teamed up with “prolific forger” Alexander Williams, also 46, in his scheme to defraud two major banks: the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and the Bank of Scotland.

The pair operated out of an office in Mayfair, calling themselves the Pacific Group of Companies. Lenders were tricked into advancing loans totaling GBP766 million, all backed by forged or false documents.

Using the money he got conning banks, The Don then spent millions of pounds on an extravagant lifestyle. The man claimed to be a San Marino ambassador and called himself “his Excellency”. He spent GBP27 million on a private jet, bought a helicopter worth GBP5.2 million, owned a yacht moored in Monaco, a fleet of chauffeur-driven Bentleys, as well as a villa in Mykonos.

Last year, the man was finally convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud banks and sent to prison to serve a seven-year sentence, but now he was ordered to pay just GBP3.25 million of the money he got his hands on. If he doesn’t return it within six months, he will serve a default sentence of seven years.

Irish Times: AIB fraudster told to pay £3.25m or face seven more years in jail

After being convicted and sentenced for defrauding AIB and Bank of Scotland for GBP61 million (EUR77.9 million) in 2012, two fraudsters have been ordered to return a total of GBP3.7 million (EUR4.7 million) by Southwark Crown Court judge.

His Hon Judge Andrew Goymer ruled that Greek businessman Achilleas Kallakis has to return GBP3.25 million within the next six months, or he’ll have to serve another seven years in jail. His partner Alexander Williams also has six months to pay back GBP477,000 (EUR610,000), otherwise he’ll be spending another three years in jail, on top of his current sentence.

In a statement published in Britain’s latest gambling news, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief Mark Thompson told reporters: “The SFO is committed to ensuring fraudsters do not retain the benefit of their crimes. We will take steps to make sure the order is satisfied but if he does not pay, he faces a further lengthy term of imprisonment.”

The confiscated money is supposed to go to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service, which will then distribute it in accordance with orders issued by judges. The victims may also receive part of it as compensation.

During the trial, the SFO said: “This was an audacious, persistent fraud that enabled these defendants, Mr Kallakis in particular, to lead the lifestyle of the super-rich.”

Independent.ie: Judge brands AIB ‘careless’ as EUR920m fraudsters jailed

In January 2013, the judge handling the case of Achilleas Kallakis sharply criticized AIB for its practices during the boom. The judge said bank employees acted “carelessly and imprudently” when they decided to lend the fraudster money. Both Kallakis and his partner were jailed for the fraud they committed. Damages added up to EUR920 million.

The Greek businessman was sentenced to seven years in prison and Alex Williams was handed a five years sentence. The pair was found guilty of orchestrating a fraud in which fake documentation was used to obtain bank loans. The money was used to purchase a number of high-end properties across the UK.

The pair was found guilty by a unanimous verdict of the jury of conspiracy to commit fraud related to the loans, which were taken out between 2003 and 2008, mainly from AIB but also from Bank of Scotland. Judge Andrew Goymer said they had taken advantage of the lax standards in place at that time, but he added that bankers failed to act responsibly. The fraud was discovered five years after the first of 16 loans was approved by AIB.

The judge said: “The two banks, Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Scotland, have undoubtedly acted carelessly and imprudently by failing to make full inquiries before advancing the money. It is, however, quite apparent that both defendants took full advantage of the prevailing banking culture in which corners were cut and checks on applications were superficial and cursory.”

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