Kallakis a 'decent family man'
An alleged fraudster shunned a lavish lifestyle in favour of meals at his local Indian restaurant and nights in with friends and family, a court heard yesterday.
Achilleas Kallakis was a “decent family man” who gave money to charity and watched football from the terraces, Southwark Crown Court heard.
On the final day of his closing speech, George Carter-Stephenson QC, representing Mr Kallakis, told jurors that his client was not the man prosecutors had painted him out to be.
“Of course there were lavish events, but they were for business.
“He was oiling the wheels, keeping the contacts together. He worked hard for the trust, working long days and travelling a lot.”
Rather than presenting himself as in charge of Hermitage Syndicated Trust, Mr Kallakis made it clear he was just an adviser, consulting on behalf of the trust and answering to Swiss lawyer Michael Becker, who was the trustee, Mr Carter-Stephenson said.
The bank was told that the beneficiaries of the trust were Kallakis’s children, not him.
“He was surrounded by the trust’s assets. He was the point of contact for the bank, which is why he appeared to be the trust’s principal.”
Referring to a letter from David McWilliam, the former managing director of AIB corporate banking in the UK, Mr Carter-Stephenson told the jury the note showed that Mr Kallakis was not in charge of the trust.
“Even in the note of David McWilliam it set out Mr Becker’s position as the ultimate decision-maker in the trust.
‘Thinks AIB stole assets’
“Mr Kallakis has made it clear that he thinks AIB stole the assets of the trust.
“As the father of its beneficiaries, you can understand why he holds anger towards the bank. He felt they did not listen to the suggestions he put forward – they simply did not want to know.”
Describing Mr Kallakis as a “good asset” for the trust, Mr Carter-Stephenson highlighted the charitable work the trust was involved with. Mr Kallakis and co-defendant Alexander Williams, both 44, are accused of creating fraudulent guarantees to get inflated loans for property of £740 million from AIB, buy the properties and then use surplus cash to fund a luxurious lifestyle.
The pair are also accused of defrauding the Bank of Scotland, part of the HBOS group, of €29 million to convert a passenger ferry into a “superyacht”.
Both deny conspiracy to defraud, forgery, fraud by false representation, money-laundering and obtaining a money transfer by deception.
Today, Peter Caldwell, representing Mr Williams, will begin his closing speech.
The trial continues.