Senior banker at AIB accused of backdating notes
A SENIOR banker was accused in a London court yesterday of backdating important documents amid fears that his employer had been the victim of a £750 million (€930 million) con.
Stuart Muldowney, who worked in Allied Irish Bank’s property team, was said to have backdated notes relating to transactions between the bank and Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams, both of whom are on trial for fraud.
Mr Kallakis’s lawyer said Mr Muldowney had written a memo detailing a crucial meeting with a representative of the defendants’ alleged guarantor, Jonathan Lee of Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) in September 2008, 18 months after it had taken place.
However, he insists the note of the meeting with Mr Lee had not been written in a way that suggested it had been taken at the time, and said he “couldn’t recall” other instances where he was said to have backdated signatures.
George Carter-Stephenson QC, representing Mr Kallakis, said to Mr Muldowney: “You do not have a clue when the meeting with Jonathan Lee was?” Mr Muldowney replied: “I cannot accept that. I cannot recall exactly when, but it was in the first quarter of 2007.”
Asked by Mr Carter-Stephenson if it was a “mistake” not to make a proper note of the meeting with Mr Lee, Mr Muldowney said: “It’s something that should have been done at the time and recorded.”
He did not accept Mr Carter-Stephenson’s suggestion that they [the notes] had been binned as they did not “match up” with evidence given to jurors, he said.
Mr Muldowney also insisted the note “should not” have given the impression that it had been written at the time of the meeting in early 2007, despite not writing the actual date of when it had been composed on it. Asked by Mr Carter-Stephenson if the notes had been written “after it had all gone pear-shaped [so] people at AIB were trying to cover themselves”, Mr Muldowney disagreed.
Earlier, Mr Muldowney told prosecutor Annabel Darlow that Mr Lee had seemed “very well versed” during their meeting and that they thought the bank’s credit committee would be happy with the outcome. Asked by Mr Carter-Stephenson if “after the balloon went up” on the Kallakis and Williams loans, he had “deliberately backdated” notes, Mr Muldowney said: “I do not have a recollection of backdating.”
He also said he couldn’t recall why a money-laundering risk document apparently signed on a Sunday bore his signature, having revealed that he wasn’t in the bank’s office at the weekend.
Kallakis and Williams both 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.