AIB fraud trial told £76,000 was lost after firms folded
A cleaner was left £76,000 out of pocket when the alleged fraudster for whom he was working went bust, a London court heard yesterday.
Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams are accused of defrauding AIB out of £740 million in property loans and Bank of Scotland out of a further €29 million by using fake guarantees. Both men deny the allegations.
Yesterday a cleaner who worked at Atlas Property Group, which ran the properties bought on behalf of Mr Kallakis’s family trust, told how he was owed £76,000 after they went out of business.
Ediniuson Picardo’s Seven Days Cleaning business, which Atlas paid between £22,000 and £26,000 a month, folded in 2008, at about the same time Atlas was liquidated.
He told Southwark Crown Court how he had cleaned for Atlas until December 2008, wrongly believing that an unidentified bank that had by then taken it over would pay him. He later found out it would not – and this was when he tried to get his money back via Mr Williams, it was claimed.
He told jurors of a chance meeting with a man carrying a file in Carlos Place in about April 2008, who said he worked for an associated company in Monaco.
The meeting led Mr Picardo to contact Mr Williams twice about the money he was owed, believing that if he could afford an office in Monaco, he could afford the repayments.
Mr Picardo called Mr Williams to demand his money last year and again several weeks ago, jurors heard.
Although Mr Picardo did not know who the man was, it was suggested to the court that he was the Monaco-based associate of Mr Kallakis and Mr Williams, Frank Merchie.
Asked by Peter Caldwell, for Mr Williams, if he had known Mr Williams was facing trial when he called him two weeks ago, Mr Picard said: “I don’t know.”
Asked by prosecutor Victor Temple QC why he had chosen to “suddenly contact” Mr Williams three weeks ago, Mr Picardo said: “Just because he might forget his next payment.”
Mr Temple then asked: “Are you saying that it’s not the case that Alexander Williams says to you ‘please come to court on my behalf and talk about Frank Merchie’?”
Mr Picardo said: “No.”
The trial continues.