AIB lent alleged fraudster £20m
ALLIED IRISH Bank lent millions of pounds to an alleged fraudster after it was approached by a reputable broker, a London court has heard.
Andrew Rogers, who worked in Allied Irish Bank’s capital markets office in London between 2002 and 2003, was approached by brokerage firm CLP in September 2003 to see whether AIB could lend alleged fraudster Achilleas Kallakis about £20 million to buy an office block, it was said.
A CV detailing Mr Kallakis’s financial background claimed he chaired a business that had “the largest privately owned shipping fleet in the world”. It was also said his wealth was “difficult to assess as [the Kallakis] are a very private family . . . [but] it’s estimated that they are billionaires”.
Asked by prosecutor Annabel Darlow what AIB had made of these claims, Mr Rogers said they “gave comfort”. Mr Rogers told how CLP was “long established” and that its approach ultimately led to Mr Kallakis receiving about £20 million to buy a property called Fitzroy House.
Having CLP get in touch and give a CV detailing Mr Kallakis’s background “gave us an understanding that the client was bona fide”. He added: “When you are lending money you always like to know as much as possible about the potential borrower and their background.”
Asked about how important it was to get background details right, he answered: “We always try to make sure that they are as accurate as possible.” The purported involvement of Hong Kong-based estate agent SHKP as guarantor in the deals was “very, very significant” as it was a “very long established, big borrower”, he said.
Mr Kallakis and his alleged co-conspirator, Alexander Williams, deny two counts of conspiracy to defraud, 13 counts of forgery, five counts of fraud by false representation, two counts of money laundering and one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception. The trial continues.