British Investor Jailed for Country’s Largest Ponzi Scheme
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UPDATED: Mar 12, 2012
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Ponzi schemes and financial fraud are not exclusive to the American market, as a British man was sentenced to 14 years and six months in jail for defrauding investors out of $182 million in an elaborate business loan scheme, according to Bloomberg.
Kautilya Nandan Pruthi plead guilty for defrauding around 800 investors in a massive Ponzi scheme, then using the proceeds to by himself extravagant automobiles and aircrafts.
Pruthi didn’t act alone, as two accomplices, John Anderson and Kenneth Peacock, were found guilty for participating in the scheme, but they each only received 18 months of jail time.
The three individuals began their scheme in November 2008, and would promise their victims returns of as much as 13 percent on high-interest business loans. The business loans were supposed to be given to distressed companies, but instead the money meant for the loans was used by Pruthi to finance his own purchases.
Even bankers with Merill Lynch were conned by Pruthi’s lies, according to a Huffington Post article.
The scam artist had a Jaguar XKR, three Bentleys, two Ferraris, a Lamborghini, two Mercedes, a Rolls Roye, a Volkswagen and a motorcycle, according to Bloomberg. Pruthi also owned a helicopter that he used to travel to meetings with investors, and he also owned a private jet that crashed in 2008, killing all five passengers on board.
An Indian native, Pruthi isn’t new to the world of fraud. According to London police and a Bloomberg report, Pruthi was previously jailed in the United States on fraud charges before being deported to India. The man then moved to the UK and began this complex business loan scheme.
Following the trio’s arrests, authorities garnished all of their bank accounts, leaving each of them bankrupt. Officials have said all of those duped by Pruthi and his associates will be repaid with what money is left.