Sporting icons Rahul Dravid, Saina Nehwal, and Prakash Padukone were among about 800 people deceived by a Bengaluru-based Ponzi scheme, News18 reported.

The Bengaluru City Police said that a firm called Vikram Investment Company was responsible for the scheme where several prominent people were duped of crores of rupees. The company had reportedly promised up to 40% returns on investments.

Asianet quoted Kannada newspaper Prajavani as saying that at least 800 people from the fields of cinema, sports, politics and business have been targeted by this company.

The police have arrested company owner Raghavendra Sreenath along with agents Sutram Suresh, Narasimhamurthy, K C Nagaraj and Prahlad. Suresh is said to be a well-known sports journalist in Bengaluru and was the person who convinced the sportspersons to invest in the ponzi scheme.

“They have been sent to police custody for 14 days. The gang has duped the investors of over Rs 300 crores. We are verifying the documents,” a police officer was quoted as saying by News 18.

The case came to light when PR Balaji, owner of the Balaji Agarbathi Company, filed a complaint against Vikram Investment and its administrators, continued the Asianet report.

The three sportspersons named have not responded to police claims as yet and a representative for Padukone declined to comment, according to News18.