British 'Ponzi scheme' defendants fined £115m

30 June 2010

Three men accused of running the UK's largest-ever Ponzi scheme have been ordered to pay £115 million ($173 million) to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

It is claimed that John Anderson, Kautilya Nandan Pruthi and Kenneth Peacock – who ran Business Consulting International – took up to £84 million from clients including celebrities and sports stars, using new investors' cash to pay returns out to older ones.

They were offering investors returns of up to 20 per cent a month, reports BBC News.

While the police investigation into their activities continues, a High Court hearing has ruled that they were unlawfully accepting deposits without FSA authorisation.

As a result, Pruthi has been ordered to pay £89.7 million, Anderson £13.1 million and Peacock £11.6 million.

The FSA said that despite the ruling, it would be unlikely investors will be repaid for their losses "in part or at all".

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FSA, said: "This case emphasizes the importance of taking care to ensure that any firm or individual consumers deal with are authorized or approved by the FSA."

By Tony Aynsley

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