Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams, tried to defraud Allied Irish Banks (AIB) out of £740 million and Bank of Scotland (BoS), as it was known, of 26 million euro (£22 million) between August 2003 and November 2008.
The offences funded property and luxury yacht scams and were carried out over five years.
Kallakis, the “prime mover”, was jailed for seven years and Williams for five years. Neither reacted as Judge Goymer delivered the sentences at Southwark Crown Court.
During the trial, the jury was told that Kallakis used the proceeds of his fraud to fund the lifestyle of the super-rich in which he maintained a fleet of chauffeur-driven Bentleys, a private plane, a private helicopter, a luxury yacht moored in Monaco harbour and a collection of high value artworks. The pair were convicted on Wednesday 16th January of two counts of conspiring to defraud the banks after a four-month trial.
The men used forged documents as part of their plot to use money to buy properties and to convert an ex-passenger ferry into a super yacht.
Judge Goymer attacked the banks, he said: “AIB and BoS have undoubtedly acted carelessly and imprudently by failing to make full inquiries before advancing the money. Indeed the latter bank was given clear and precise warnings by its lawyers about the risks of accepting assurances in a letter from an alleged co-conspirator, a Swiss lawyer. It almost beggars belief senior management chose to disregard that warning and rushed to complete the deal at all costs. It is apparent from the evidence both the defendants took full advantage of the prevailing banking culture in which corners are cut, and checks on them superficial and cursory.” He added: “The banks do bear some degree of responsibility for what happened.”
The judge told Kallakis, and Williams, they were responsible for fraud “on a major scale”. He told them they both needed each other for the frauds to work.
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