Men convicted in £115m Ponzi scam

The trio bought a fleet of expensive cars

Two men have been convicted of taking part in UK’s biggest “Ponzi” fraud scheme.

John Anderson, 46, from West Hampstead, and Kenneth Peacock, 43, from Surrey, were found guilty of unlawfully accepting deposits from investors.

The scheme’s mastermind Kautilya Pruthi, 41, of Wandsworth, London, had already admitted seven fraud counts.

Southwark Crown Court heard hundreds of people, including England cricketer Darren Gough, lost £115m.

The jury is still out on whether Anderson and Peacock deceived investors.

Ponzi schemes offer investors high returns over a short period of time paid for through their own money or that of subsequent investors, rather than real profits.

As well as former cricketer Gough, other victims included actor Jerome Flynn.

Pruthi, Peacock and Anderson lured investors with the promise of huge returns of up to 20% a month.

They told people they were lending to importers and exporters in need of short-term credit.

For nearly four years the returns were paid by Pruthi, but only by using money taken from new investors.

The rest of the cash was used to fund lavish lifestyles.

Each of the three men bought a fleet of luxury cars. Pruthi even bought a private jet.

The ostentatious displays of wealth were used to impress investors. Pruthi and Anderson once travelled by helicopter to meet a group of potential investors in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

When the scheme collapsed in 2008, 800 people were owed £115m, with some investors losing their life savings.—BBC

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