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    Default Indian brain behind UK investment scam jailed

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    An Indian who led a flamboyant lifestyle after organising one of Britain's biggest investment scams involving 115 million pounds and hundreds of victims inlcuding celebrities such as former cricketer Darren Gough, was on Thursday jailed for 14 years.

    Kautilya Nandan Pruthi, 41, known to be a smooth-talking person, personally made 38 million pounds from the swindle over three years from 2005 while nearly 800 victims from around the world lost a total of 115 million pounds in his 'Ponzi'-style investment scam.

    Named after Italian fraudster Charles Ponzi, a 'Ponzi' scam involves the payment of purported high returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.

    Pruthi was told that he faced deportation to India at the end of his prison term.

    Delivering his sentence at the Southwark Crown Court, Judge Michael Gledhill told Pruthi: "You are an extremely intelligent, articulate, sophisticated and plausible liar.

    "In short, a professional fraudster. You set up and masterminded what may well be the largest and longest running Ponzi fraud to come before the courts in this country".

    Pruthi, who earlier pleaded guilty, was arrested with co-conspirators John Anderson and Kenneth Pea****, who were found guilty of unauthorised regulated activity but cleared yesterday of fraud and recklessly making a misleading, false or deceptive promise.

    Offering a return rate of 156 per cent per year on investments, Pruthi lured investors from Britain, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Spain, including celebrities such as former cricketer Darren Gough and actor-turned-singer Jerome Flynn.



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