Two guilty over 'Ponzi' scheme


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The Independent Online

Two men were convicted today in connection with Britain's biggest ever "Ponzi" scheme.

John Anderson, 46, and Kenneth Peacock, 43, were both found guilty of one count each of unauthorised regulated activity linked to a massive fraud run by Kautilya Nandan Pruthi.

Pruthi's victims were persuaded to invest in an apparently high-yield fund but the money was siphoned off to fuel his lavish lifestyle.

Trading as Business Consulting International, Pruthi ran the business fraudulently between 2005 and 2008, obtaining £38 million from the swindle, prosecutors said.

The scam was said to be the biggest Ponzi fraud ever perpetrated in the UK.

If every victim was paid back what they were due, it would amount to a sum of more than £100 million.

A jury of six men and six women at London's Southwark Crown Court convicted Anderson and Peacock today of the unauthorised regulated activity charges but cleared them of one count each of fraud.

The jury will continue to deliberate on whether the men are guilty of recklessly making a misleading, false or deceptive promise when they return to court tomorrow.

Judge Michael Gledhill QC today told Pruthi, 41, who has already admitted his role in the fraud, that he would be sentenced on Wednesday.

Ponzi schemes are a type of investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.