Russian Entrepreneur Sergei Mavrodi, whose MMM pyramid scheme has taken millions of Russians their saving money in the 1990s. According to Russia media, he died of heart attack.
Reports has it that the 62-year-old was rushed to the hospital late on March 25 with a severe pain he had in his chest and died several hours later.
Mavrodi’s MMM financial pyramid was a real Ponzi scheme in which those that invested earlier receive their profits from other subsequent investors. Mavrodi promised returns of 20 percent to 75 percent a month, as well as lotteries and bonuses for investors that partake in the scheme.
As soon as the number of new clients declined, the pyramid collapsed and thereby resulting in huge financial losses for at least 10 million people, in some cases leaving them destitute.
In 1994, Mavrodi was elected as a lawmaker, a decision he later said was to ensure he received immunity from prosecution. In 1996, he lost his parliamentary mandate.
In 2007, a Moscow court found him guilty of financial fraud and sentenced him to 4 1/2 years in a penal colony.
In 2011, Mavrodi launched another pyramid scheme in which he called MMM-2011, calling on investors to purchase so-called Mavro currency units in a bid to get rid of the “unfair” financial system. Some 15 months later, Mavrodi halted the project.
From 2011-16, Mavrodi launched Ponzi schemes under the MMM brand in India, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria.
In many of those countries, Mavrodi’s operations were subsequently shut down or suspended.