Property tycoon jailed for life over bridging loan murder

Property tycoon jailed for life over bridging loan murder


A multi-millionaire British-born property developer, Thanos Papalexis, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a caretaker who blocked a £2 million property deal.

The caretaker, Charalambos Christodoulides, was strangled after refusing to leave his flat situated within a warehouse that Mr Papalexis was trying to purchase; resulting in him having to pay £60,000 a week in interest on a bridging loan he had taken out to fund the deal.

The body of the 57 year-old was found ten days after he was reported missing in March 2000. Wrapped in a blanket, with two wool hats pulled over his face, he had been dumped in a mechanic’s trench in a garage and doused in paint stripper, possibly to throw sniffer dogs off the trail.

Mr Papalexis moved to the US in 2001 and had been living amongst the West Palm Beach elite in Florida. He was arrested there by federal agents in early November of this year whilst eating at an exclusive pizza restaurant.

According to court documents, in 2000 when the developer was just 26 years-old and starting up his property business, he had wanted to build up a warehouse in West Kilburn. However, his plan was blighted by Mr Christodoulides refusing to leave his flat. For every week he was prevented from buying the warehouse, he was forced to pay out £60,000 in interest to a loan shark who had granted him a short term loan.

Mr Papalexis enlisted the help of two hit men, named as Robert Baxhija and Ylli Xhelo, to kill Mr Christodoulides. Police evidence stated that the victim was tied to a chair and beaten before being strangled.

The property developer, who denied the charge of murder, was told by Judge Jeremy Roberts that he must serve at least 20 years.

Sentencing him, Judge Roberts said: “You are a totally amoral person in the sense that you do not think twice in doing or saying anything which helps you achieve your own ends.


“This was an execution carried out for financial gain - you treated Charalambos as completely expendable.”  


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