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Judges jail £740m fraudster for extra four years

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  • 17/05/2013
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Judges jail £740m fraudster for extra four years
The London property tycoon behind one of Britain’s biggest mortgage scams has been given an extra four years in jail after judges ruled his sentence “too generous”.

In January, Achilleas Michalis Kallakis received a seven year sentence for his part in defrauding Allied Irish and Bank of Scotland of millions of pounds through forged guarantees of long-term rental agreements on his property portfolio.

Government law officials appealed and yesterday Court of Appeal judges increased the sentence by an extra four years.

Lord Justice Pitchford dismissed a previous judge’s interpretation that the fact the offenders had continued to make mortgage payments on the loans they had fraudulently acquired removed the crime from the most serious category of fraud.

He said: “The judge reached that view because the offenders had maintained mortgage repayments until the summer of 2008. In this conclusion we consider that the judge was generous to the offenders.

“The reason why it was essential that the fraudsters continued to make mortgage repayments was that if they did not the sham would be discovered and the tap which provided funding for the continuing fraud would be switched off.”

Between 2003 and 2008 Kallakis presented himself as the chief executive of the Pacific Group of Companies, which did business with the substantial Hong Kong-based company Sun Hung Kai Properties. Telling lenders the company wished to invest in UK property but discreetly for political reasons, he and fellow conspirators fraudulently borrowed millions including £743m from Allied Irish.

In fact, Pacific was a sham and Kallakis had no relationship with Sun Hung Kai Properties at all. The fraud was uncovered after Allied Irish received a tip-off from another bank to which he had made an approach and learned he had a conviction for fraud under the name Stefanos Kollakis.

Fellow conspirator Alexander Martin Williams also had his prison term extended, to eight years.

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