Son of Greek Poker Player Jailed for Fraud Sues Irish Lender for Fraud - Newstbt.com
A son of a Greek real estate investor and poker player is taking legal action against a financial institution, accusing them of fraud– the same offense his father is now in prison for committing. The plot started over a decade ago, and yet it appears to never go away.
The 54-year-old “Don” Achilleas Kallakis was once a familiar face at poker tables around Europe, and, according to Hendon Mob, won around $320K in tournaments. Despite his success at the card table, his talent was actually in fraud – back in 2013, he convinced financial institutions to lend him over $1.2 billion to invest in real estate development, which he actually used to support a luxury lifestyle. He was subsequently convicted of the fraud. To pay back the lenders, they seized his assets. Now, Michalis Kallakis, his son, is bringing the lender to court due to his disagreement with how they handled the sale of the assets. It seems, this fraudster’s fraud is set to be defrauded. (Image: PA Media)
Defrauding the Fraudster
AIB, which had loaned €935.8 million to the elder Kallakis, is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by his 25-year-old son Michalis. The younger Kallakis claims that the bank mishandled the assets it had seized to recoup its losses due to the elder Kallakis’ conviction. In court documents, Michalis accused the bank of “unlawfully” seizing assets, including real estate, Bentleys, and more, and selling them for around $378.24 million, which was allegedly below their market value. Despite the suggestion that the bank should have sold the assets at the highest price possible, Michalis’ defense team appears uncertain about the legitimacy of the lawsuit. Incongruously, it seems to be using theatrical arguments rather than legal evidence to back its case.
AIB’s lawyers filed a statement saying that Achilleas Kallakis is “particularly vulnerable to being deceived,” due to his expertise as a “professional fraudster,” pointing to the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as an example. In it, two fraudsters were taken in themselves. However, AIB’s legal team called the accusation “absurd” and “baseless,” speculating that Achilleas and his son were trying to get more money out of the bank. They claimed that it was “beyond understanding” for the bank to have to present a defense.
No matter how creative one might attempt to be, the concept of the fraud victim being held accountable for their losses due to fraud is simply too far-fetched to believe. It was a nice run while it lasted but in the end, it was nothing more than a figment of imagination.
Nice Run While it Lasted
In 2013, Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander M. Williams were sentenced to 11 years in jail for defrauding the bank. It is believed that the fraud began as early as 2003 and prices of such luxury items as real estate, a yacht, luxury cars, and artwork were being bought with the money taken from the bank. They were also known to travel via expensive modes of transportation such as helicopters and private jets. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had raided Kallakis’ office in March 2009, where evidence of malicious intent was found with forged contracts to impress the banks. At the time of his arrest, Kallakis was the 11th richest man in Greece, however he primarily resided in London since most of his ownership of real estate was located there, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2005, Michalis Kallakis and his son, Alexander, made headlines when Michalis donated £250,000 (US$316,450) to the independent school attended by an unidentified family member. The donation led to the school having a theatre named the “Kallakis Theatre.” Following the fraud case the family became embroiled in, the school removed all traces of the Kallakis family, which resulted in Michalis suing for breach of contract in 2020. A settlement was eventually reached, with Michalis receiving approximately £92,500 (US$117,086), though no rights to the theater name. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was alerted about the arrangement, leading to Michalis and Alexander being taken to court in February of this year. A judge ordered the money returned to the school a month later, thus ending the father-and-son duo’s feud with the school.
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