Achilleas Kallakis, a Greek property tycoon who has also appeared on poker television, was charged Monday in London with defrauding two European banks.  He was required to post £140,000 in bail and must report to Chelsea police station once per week in advance of a May 4th court appearance.
Kallakis has been one London’s biggest real estate wheelers and dealers over the last several years.  Properties under his ownership include the Department of Health building in Vauxhall and the Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Croydon.  In 2007, he said he was developing a 20,000 square foot flat in a St. James Square property that would sell for £105 million, making it the most expensive penthouse apartment in the world.  At that time, Kallakis was said to be worth £250 million and was ranked as the 11th richest Greek.
The pricier of the two alleged crimes was committed against Allied Irish Bank (AIB).  Kallakis claimed that tenant leases were more expensive and longer than they really were, and when AIB investigated further, the bank found that the tenants were actually linked to Kallakis himself.  AIB seized the properties involved and sold them at a £56 million loss.
Kallakis also allegedly defrauded the Bank of Scotland, causing the bank to lose £5 million on a 2008 loan given to him to refurbish a decommissioned ferry into a luxury yacht.
Along with colleague Alexander Williams, Achilleas Kallakis is charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud, five counts of fraud by false representation, two counts of money laundering, thirteen counts of forgery, and one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception.  If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison.
While nowhere close to a well known poker player, Kallakis has had some success in live tournaments.  In 2004, he placed 27th in the WPT €10,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Grand Prix to Paris.  In 2005, he won two of the twelve weeks on the televised Party Poker Poker Den competition in East London, earning £50,000 ($91,134) both times with just an £8,500 buy-in for each heat.  Later that year, he finished third at the Pacific Poker Open, pocketing $100,000.  Since then, he has not had much in the way of live tournament cashes, though he did compete in the Party Poker World Open, Party Poker European Open, and UK Open on multiple occasions.
His biggest poker moment actually came in a losing hand during the Party Poker European Open III in 2006.  In the hand, Denis O’Mahoney opened with a raise holding K-K.  Right behind him, Darren Hickman, with Q-Q, re-raised.  Leon Loukaides folded his J-10 and then, to the great surprise of the television show’s announcers, the hole card cam showed Kallakis with A-A!  After some pondering of the situation, he moved all-in.  After him, Dale Hoy and Jon Hewston folded 7-7 and 5-5, respectively, making it five pocket pairs for six players in the hand.  O’Mahoney went into the tank and finally made a very impressive laydown, feeling certain that Kallakis had Aces.  Hickman couldn’t let go of his Queens, though, and called.  It was good for them that he called, as he rivered a Queen to knock out Kallakis in 6th place.  O’Mahoney, who had been feeling great about his fold, was likely feeling a little sick after the hand, though, as a King came on the flop.
All told, Achilleas Kallakis has won $345,090 in live poker tournaments, which puts him 3rd on Greece’s all-time money list.  Ahead of him are Konstantinos Alexiou with $410,237 and Georgios Kapalas with $352,456.

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