AIB battles ‘absurd’ London lawsuit from fraudster’s son

AIB is fighting a multi-million-pound London lawsuit brought by the son of a fake tycoon who conned the Irish bank out of more than £700 million (€818 million) over a decade ago, a situation the lender says is stranger than fiction.

Achilleas Kallakis, who styled himself as a property and shipping magnate, perpetrated a massive mortgage fraud on AIB and was jailed for seven years in 2013, later increased to 11 years on appeal.

However, Kallakis’ son Michalis is now accusing AIB of fraud by selling a portfolio of properties for less than they were worth. He is seeking £237 million from the bank, which says the lawsuit is “divorced from reality” and orchestrated with Achilleas.

“The idea that the victim of the fraud could somehow find itself in the dock – criticised by the fraudster for manner in which it sought to mitigate the losses to which it was exposed by reason of fraud – is beyond fiction,” AIB’s lawyer Neil Kitchener said in court filings.

Michalis’ lawyers in turn cited the 1988 comedy film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to demonstrate how a fraudster might himself be duped.

“Achilleas Kallakis, as a professional fraudster, is particularly vulnerable to being deceived himself,” Julian Malins said in court filings, adding in a footnote: “As anyone who has seen Michael Caine and Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will appreciate.”


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