Man admits 'biggest Ponzi fraud in the UK'

A businessman has admitted masterminding what may be the biggest "Ponzi" scheme seen in the UK.

Southwark Crown Court heard Kautilya Nandan Pruthi persuaded his victims to invest in a fund - but siphoned off money for his own lavish lifestyle.

The 41-year-old fraudulently obtained £38m between 2005 and 2008 through his firm, Business Consulting International, the court heard.

Pruthi admitted seven specimen counts of fraudulent activity.

Ponzi schemes involve paying bogus returns to existing investors from money paid in by new investors.

Jail 'inevitable'

The judge was told if every victim was repaid what they were now owed, it would amount to a sum of £100m.

The court heard it was thought to be the single biggest Ponzi scheme seen in the UK.

Adjourning sentencing to a later date, Judge Michael Gledhill QC warned a jail term was "inevitable".

He said: "As you well know these are most serious offences."

Pruthi pleaded guilty to four specimen counts of obtaining money transfers by deception.

He also admitted one count of participating in a fraudulent business, one count of unauthorised regulated activity and one count of converting and removing criminal property.

Two other men, John Anderson, 46, and Kenneth Peacock, 43, each deny one count of recklessly making a misleading, false or deceptive promise, fraud and unauthorised regulated activity.

They will stand trial later in the week.

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