Kallakis fell out with high society, court hears
Prince Albert of Monaco shunned the tycoon alleged to have conned AIB out of £740 million after he was arrested, a court heard yesterday. Achilleas Kallakis had rubbed shoulders with royalty while living in the principality, the court was told.
However, jurors heard how Mr Kallakis, accused of defrauding AIB out of £740 million in property loans, was frozen out by his high-society friends after being accused of the crime.
Mr Kallakis and co-defendant Alexander Williams, both 44, are alleged to have obtained the loans, used to buy a string of prestigious properties in London and the southeast, using fake guarantees.
Mr Kallakis claims to have acted as a negotiator for the Hermitage Syndicated Trust, which was liable for the loans and whose beneficiaries were his children.
And while being re-examined at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, the alleged fraudster revealed how the accusations had affected his social standing. He also claimed that a bout of meningitis had made the trust invest in a private jet to help reduce the impact of travelling a million kilometres a year for work.
George Carter-Stephenson QC, representing Mr Kallakis, asked his client: “You were asked about your connection to influential people, in particular the prince of Monaco. Has your arrest in relation to this particular matter affected your relationship with a number of these people?”
Mr Kallakis answered “Yes,” adding: “A lot of these people are very upset and distraught to learn of what has been reported in the press.
“Of course they know to take it with a pinch of salt, but nonetheless it has caused them concern. The fact that I’m on trial had an impact on my relationship with these people.
“People at that level naturally tend to distance themselves from people who are very serious problems.”
His claims came weeks after Mr Kallakis told jurors of a visit by the duchess of Cornwall to a lavish Mayfair house he had refurbished, as well as a meeting with former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Mr Kallakis was also asked by Mr Carter-Stephenson about the “aura of wealth” said to have surrounded him, which jurors have heard included private jets, a yacht, fine art and a villa in Mykonos.
He insisted that luxury purchases had been bought as investments, with an eye to making money on them.
Mr Kallakis and Mr Williams both deny conspiracy to defraud, forgery, fraud by false representation, money-laundering and obtaining a money transfer by deception.
The trial continues.