Friday 24 January 2020

AIB fraud accused told his explanation was 'nonsense'

Shane Hickey London

A MAN said to have masterminded a €920m fraud against AIB has been accused of creating a web of lies, deceit and forgery in order to secure a series of property loans from the bank.

Achilleas Kallakis was yesterday told that some of his explanations in a case involving the purchase of high-end UK properties were "complete nonsense".

The businessman and his partner Alexander Williams both deny a series of fraud charges relating to loans taken out from AIB between 2003 and 2008. They are accused of using forged rental guarantees from a reputable Hong Kong property company – Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) – to secure the loans which totalled €920m.

Yesterday, Victor Temple, prosecuting, described as "complete nonsense" an explanation given by Mr Kallakis over his relationship with an apparent representative of the company.

AIB executives met with an alleged executive from SHKP to discuss the guarantees at one stage but Mr Kallakis was not at the meeting. The prosecution allege the representative was an imposter.

Yesterday Mr Kallakis denied that the man was planted there by he and Mr Williams and claimed he knew little of him because a broker acted between SHKP and his company.


Referring to documents which were used at the time of the loan transactions, Mr Temple alleged they were falsified to "foster the delusion".

When Mr Kallakis said – when questioned on why he did not have bank papers from 2004 – that he did not think he would be on trial, Mr Temple replied: "You thought you would get away with it".

Mr Kallakis said "there was nothing to get away with".

The jury heard accusations from the prosecution that Mr Kallakis and Mr Williams had changed figures at will on their documentation to inflate monetary values.

Mr Kallakis denied this as he did the allegation that the documents were forgeries created to serve a purpose and that Mr Williams had falsified signatures.

"We did nothing that was misleading or lying or forgery of any documents," Mr Kallakis said. Mr Temple said there was "forgery", "lies" and "deceit" wherever you look. This was refuted by Mr Kallakis.

Mr Kallakis has claimed he was merely a negotiator in the property deals, acting on behalf of the Hermitage Syndicated Trust, a body of which his children were the beneficiaries.

The jury heard that the trust paid for chauffeured cars, a house, yachts and planes which were used by Mr Kallakis and his children.

Both Mr Kallakis and Mr Williams deny conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation, money laundering and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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