Fraudster’s Son Takes AIB To Court Over 2008 Property Sale
Allied Irish Banks has insisted that there was nothing “unorthodox” about its 2008 sale of properties to Stephen Vernon’s Green Property after it discovered that convicted fraudster Achilleas Kallakis and his business partner had deceived it to secure €863M of loans to buy the assets originally.
But Kallakis’ son has the bank on defense. AIB unlawfully seized Kallakis’ properties and sold them at around €384M less than market value, Michalis Kallakis alleged in court filings prepared for trial, according to Bloomberg.
“Achilleas Kallakis, as a professional fraudster, is particularly vulnerable to being deceived himself as anyone who has seen Michael Caine and Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will appreciate,” lawyers for Michalis said in the filing.
The bank’s lawyers described the allegations as “absurd” and “baseless” and said that it was “beyond understanding” that the bank found itself in the position as defendant, the Irish Examiner reported.
“The idea that the victim of the fraud could somehow find itself in the dock, criticised by the fraudster for manner in which it sought to mitigate the losses to which it was exposed by reason of fraud is beyond fiction,” lawyers said.
Michalis Kallakis has insisted that he was a beneficiary of a trust that was the sole shareholder in special-purpose vehicles used by his father to purchase the properties with the AIB loans.
His father was initially jailed in 2013 for seven years for the fraud, later increased to 11 years. Meanwhile, business partner Alex Williams was sentenced to eight years.
The duo used fake documentation to secure the loans from AIB between 2003 and 2007, with the money loaned to a number of SPVs registered in the British Virgin Islands, and Achilleas Kallakis used the money to buy upmarket London properties, yachts, art and luxury cars.
In 2008, AIB discovered that documentation used to secure the loans was fake and in November of that year served notice of default and sold the properties to Dublin-based Green Property, founded by Vernon.
The sale realised €835M, with the loan outstanding at the date of sale €908M, according to AIB, which said it also discovered that Achilleas Kallakis was previously known as Stefanos Kallakis and had fraud convictions from 1995 for selling fake British peerages to Americans.
Michalis Kallakis secured permission from the UK court to issue a witness summons to Patrick Gunne, who joined Green Property in 2008 as managing director. He was subsequently involved in Green REIT, which was later sold by Gunne and Vernon.
The bank denies that the 14 properties were sold by Green for more than it paid for them, saying that eight were sold by Green for less than their purchase prices.
In May this year, a London court said that Michalis Kallakis could reapply for permission to issue a witness summons to Patrick Gunne, but AIB has already insisted that a number of claims made by Michalis Kallakis against it have been struck out.
In the original proceedings, AIB said Achilleas Kallakis had agreed the benefit he had received from the fraud was just over €111M.