'I did not defraud anyone'

An expatriate South African businessman accused of massive pyramid scheme fraud that cost wealthy investors up to R10 billion has denied any wrongdoing, reports said on Saturday.

An expatriate South African businessman accused of massive pyramid scheme fraud that cost wealthy investors up to R10 billion has denied any wrongdoing, reports said on Saturday.

Barry Tannenbaum, who lives in Sydney, has been accused of fleecing rich South Africans in what has been billed as one of the country's biggest Ponzi-style investment frauds.

But Tannenbaum denied running a scam in which he allegedly offered 200 percent annual returns, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"Absolutely not," he told the newspaper when asked if he had set up a Ponzi scheme similar in structure to the one masterminded by US businessman Bernard Madoff, who netted $65 billion in cash from the scheme.

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