UK businessmen caught in SA Ponzi scheme

United Kingdom-based businessmen are among the victims of South Africa’s largest Ponzi scheme, allegedly operated by Barry Tannenbaum, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper named Peter Long, the chief executive of Tui Travel, and Richard Kirk, his counterpart at Peacocks, as being among the group of UK investors that put money into Tannenbaum’s Frankel International company.

Monaco-based Russian investors were also said to have become entangled in the alleged fraud, the newspaper said.

Last week, South African media exposed a Ponzi scheme allegedly run by Tannenbaum, who is now based in Australia.

Tannenbaum has subsequently denied any wrongdoing.

Some UK investors are said to have been introduced to Tannenbaum’s venture by James Patterson, a Monaco-based adviser, the newspaper added.

Patterson, who is listed as a director of a number of Frankel subsidiaries, did not return calls made to him by the Telegraph.

“He is understood to have told investors that he has, himself, been ‘duped’ and denied any wrongdoing,” the Telegraph said.

Kirk told the Telegraph that he had a wide range of personal investments and did make a “small one” in Tannenbaum’s company, although this was some time ago.

Long declined to comment.—Sapa

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