Poker Player Kallakis Ordered To Pay Back £3.25 MillionOctober 1, 2014 1:58 pm
UK poker player and convicted fraudster Achilleas Kallakis, 46, has been ordered to pay back just £3.25 million of the £750 million ($1.1bn) he swindled two banks out off, or else serve the whole seven years jail term he has been given.
From 2003 to 2008 Kallakis and ‘prolific forger’ Alexander Williams, 46, teamed up to con the Allied Irish Bank and the Bank of Scotland into lending them multi-million pound loans to purchase 16 landmark properties across Great Britain, including the £225 million Daily Telegraph headquarters in London.
As well as owning a billion dollar company, at the height of his fame, Achilleas Kallakis also appeared on Britain’s Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated personal fortune of more than £250 million. The nephew of a Greek shipping magnate would then use his money to fund his lavish lifestyle which included chauffeur-driven cars, private planes, his own yacht, as well as purchasing high value art and properties around the world.
Kallakis, from Chelsea, was also known as a talented poker player and once won a million dollars in a game in the US, after which he picked up his nickname “The Don.” In reality, however, Kallakis was playing the biggest poker game of his life with a rigged deck, and while he was applying for loans his accomplice Alexander Williams would be forging documents of recommendations and guarantees to provide to the banks.
When the commercial property market eventually plunged, the situation came to a head after the Allied started to conduct an internal review and soon found discrepancies in the paperwork it had been provided with. At his subsequent trial, Judge Andrew Goymer, said:
“Achilleas Kallakis I regard you as the prime mover in this fraud you had the experience of the property market and you also had the accumulated wealth. Alexander Williams you had a lesser role but by no means an insignificant one. You were involved in the production and control of the documents that allowed it.”
The Allied Irish Bank and the Bank of Scotland subsequently confiscated the properties and Achilleas Kallakis has now been given six months to pay back a further £3.25 million or serve his whole default sentence.