Kallakis's co-accused was jailed, court told
One of two men accused of defrauding Allied Irish Banks out of £740 million had pledged to turn over a new leaf after being imprisoned in his 20s and changing his name, a court heard yesterday.
Alexander Williams and co-defendant Achilleas Kallakis are accused of defrauding AIB out of £740 million in property loans on the back of fake guarantees. Both deny the charges.
Giving evidence, Mr Williams today told Southwark Crown Court he met his co-defendant at the University of Buckingham, where the pair became friends, before graduating in 1988.
After leaving, Mr Williams, then known as Martin Lewis, set up a business with Mr Kallakis selling “lord of the manor” titles to wealthy Americans, the court heard.
However, police discovered the fraudulent title business when they raided Mr Williams’s family home in relation to passport fraud.
Mr Williams pleaded guilty to the “lord of the manor” forgery and the passport offences, the latter landing him in Bedford prison for a year.
The court heard that after a number of jobs, Mr Williams began to help Mr Kallakis renovating property and working with him at an online insurance company. Mr Williams said he became more involved in the property purchasing side of Mr Kallakis’s business.
Mr Williams told how he was made responsible for sourcing contacts in Hong Kong, who would be able to introduce them to companies which would act as overriding leaseholders to guarantee bigger loans for property deals.
He was eventually put in touch with the “well-connected” Hong Kong businessman Richard Lee, who said he could secure Sun Hung Kai Properties to guarantee the loan, the court head.
The court heard Mr Williams secured a reference from Lord Harris but used his own address on the reference because Lord Harris was not keen to put his home address.
The trial continues.