Business Irish

Saturday 25 November 2017

Reference to 'illegal firm' found in office of fraud accused

Achilleas Kallakis
Achilleas Kallakis

Shane Hickey London

COMPUTER documents from the offices of two men at the centre of an alleged €920m fraud against AIB made references an "illegal organisation" and the risk of "blow up".

The jury in the case of Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams -- accused of masterminding the fraud -- yesterday heard details of a recovered computer file called 'Madonna'.

The offices where the file was recovered housed the company set up by the men -- who deny 23 charges -- to manage a series of high-end properties bought with loans taken out from AIB, allegedly using false rent guarantees.

Mr Williams, who has been described by the prosecution as very technically proficient, was recorded as being the last user of a number of the documents, the court heard.

In one of the them, the unnamed author makes reference to being a well-paid executive in an "illegal organisation".

Another note read out stated that "if things blow up, you will get much of the blame".

The Madonna file was recovered by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after a member of staff backed up details after being allegedly told to delete them by Mr Williams.

Jenny Clarke, an investigator from the SFO, said there was a selection of documents on the file, including copies of blank pages with the signature of Michael Becker -- a Swiss-based lawyer who is said to have been involved with the accused -- on them.

The prosecution has claimed Mr Kallakis presented himself as a man of considerable wealth generated from the shipping industry, which was not the case.

Amongst the documents on the Madonna file were a series of biographies of Mr Kallakis which stated that he had formed a specialist shipping company in the United States.

Another document refers to Mr Kallakis as "his excellency" and as an ambassador.

Both of the accused men deny allegations that they used falsified rent guarantees from a reputable Hong Kong property firm to secure the loans from AIB.

Another note read "you are not the only person who feels they are cracking up". It was not clear who the author nor the recipient of the note was.

A separate document on the file was a scan of a Bangladeshi passport with Mr Williams' name on it.

Irish Independent

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