Thursday, 17 January 2020

Two Irish home-repair scam merchants caught at Australian airports, one deported

AUSTRALIAN officials stopped a known conman from entering Australia earlier today. Jerry Connors (24) (pictured top left) was held by immigration officers when he arrived at Perth at the request of New South Wales Fair Trading. He had been accused of carrying out a number of building work scams in 2011.
A second man was also stopped at Melbourne and served with a number of court summons. Felix Moorehouse (33) (bottom left)had been caught and fined over dodgy building work in September 2011. he is now due in Parramatta Local Court on 15 February.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said both men are involved in a gang of Irish travellers 'who have been on the radar of the national travelling conmen taskforce for some years.'
 “In 2010, NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts established this taskforce and has led a relentless national strategy against travelling conmen and we are determined to continue to track these gangs and hold them accountable for their crimes against vulnerable Australians,” said the commissioner in a press release.
Felix Moorehouse left Australia in late 2011 following a raid conducted by Fair Trading and NSW Police in Sydney. Jerry Connors left in April 2012.
The Sunday World previously revealed how traveller traders from Rathkeale had been involved in a scam selling dodgy electrical generators. The affair sparked national headlines across Australia. Read previous post here.

Wednesday, 16 January 2020

Dirty rotten scoundrel: Achilleas Kallakis found guilty of swindling AIB for millions in property loans

Con-artist Achilleas Kallakis has been found guilty of fraud after using forged documents to get millions in loans from Allied Irish Bank. The cash was used to build up a property portfolio and to fund a luxurious lifestyle - 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 art works. Bank officials had been the guest of Kallakis on foreign trips as he negotiated loans.

The transactions were based on guarantees purporting to be from a Hong Kong company which the jury agreed were forgeries. Kallakis and his partner-in-crime Alexander Williams were able to maintain the fraud for over five years through top-class forgeries and skilful manipulation of the bank. In one 2007 meeting at their Mayfair offices with the bank  they presented a man as being the treasury officer from the Hong Kong company. The Hong Kong firm had no knowledge of the scam.

In 1995 as 'Stefan Kollakis' he was convicted of duping foreigners into buying fake feudal titles.(Read previous posts here) The alarm bells rang in AIB, which had loaned him £60 million ore than the value of the buildings when they learned of the conviction. Bank of Scotland has also agreed a €29 million loan. The pair are due for sentence tomorrow, 17 January.
The UK's Serious Fraud Office press release here.