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Poker Player Achilleas 'The Don' Kallakis Convicted in Mortgage Scam

Poker Player Achilleas Kallakis, known as “The Don,” was convicted on Thursday in London court on fraud charges. In a case described as Britain’s biggest ever mortgage scam, he and co-conspirator Alexander M. Williams swindled £750m (=$1.2 billion) from the Allied Irish Bank. The pair also obtained 29m euros ($38.8 million) in loans from the Bank of Scotland.

Using an office in central London’s Mayfair district as a base, the two used a forged a guarantee from a Hong Kong company to get loans exceeding the purchase price of their properties. The case was referred to authorities by Allied Irish Bank and the Hong Kong company in January 2009.

Kallakis, a former travel agent, cashed in several live poker games in 2005-6. He faces seven years jail time, Williams five.

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