Ponzi man duped stars out of £115m
A corrupt businessman duped celebrities, sport stars and hundreds of other victims out of £115 million in Britain's biggest "Ponzi" investment scam, it can be revealed.
Former cricketer Darren Gough and actor-turned-singer Jerome Flynn were among 800 people scammed as flamboyant fraudster Kautilya Nandan Pruthi claimed he was one of the richest men in London.
Investors lost life savings after being told they would get massive revenue returns unmonitored by the Financial Services Authority.
Police said parents of disabled children and a host of undisclosed well-known names fell victim as Pruthi and his associates lived in multi-million pound homes, drove Ferraris and flew in private jets.
Pruthi made £38 million from the swindle over three years while victims lost a total of £115 million.
The con artist was arrested, with associates John Anderson and Kenneth Peacock, in May 2009 after City of London police launched a nationwide investigation into Ponzi fraud.
Pruthi, of Wandsworth, south-west London; divorced former accountant Anderson, 46, of West Hampstead, and married Peacock, 43, of Camberley, Surrey, were all made bankrupt after their arrests.
Before trial, Pruthi pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court in London to four specimen counts of obtaining money transfers by deception, one count of participating in a fraudulent business, one count of unauthorised regulated activity and one count of converting and removing criminal property.
Anderson and Peacock were found guilty by a jury of unauthorised regulated activity but cleared of fraud and recklessly making a misleading, false or deceptive promise.
Judge Michael Gledhill QC, who will sentence the three on Thursday, has warned Pruthi a jail term is "inevitable".