A rising star has been swept up in an probe on fraudulently obtained bank loans

Last year, when the property market had reached its peak and Achilleas Kallakis had emerged as a precocious new star on the block after an estimated £1bn spending spree. Over a four-year period he had snapped up an array of landmark commercial buildings, including the Telegraph news group headquarters, two tower blocks occupied by the Home Office in Croydon and a £120m property in London’s St James’s Square that he planned to convert to luxury flats.

Last summer he was close to securing another £450m to buy even more assets — until the banks shied away. Then 11 days ago three of his properties were raided by City of London police and the Serious Fraud Office investigating an alleged £56m fraud on Allied Irish Banks.

The SFO suspects Kallakis’s mushrooming property empire was founded on bank loans that were fraudulently obtained. He is alleged to have used an undisclosed blue-chip company to give guarantees of certain lease payments that are believed to be fraudulent, the SFO said.

Sunday Times