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Moscow prosecutors insist on criminal case over Mavrodi's new financial pyramid

May 30, 2012, 13:21 UTC+3

The materials of the check with the prosecutor's resolution on launching criminal prosecution were forwarded to the Interior Ministry

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MOSCOW, May 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow prosecutor's office demanded that a criminal case be opened over Sergei Mavrodi's new financial pyramid MMM 2011.

The city prosecutor’s office said "the resolution not to open criminal proceedings was illegitimate. According to the conclusion by the Expert Council under the Federal Antimonopoly Service for developing competition in financial markets, which examined the MMM 2011 project, as well as the expert conclusion by the National Agency for Financial Studies, it is a financial pyramid."

The materials of the check with the prosecutor's resolution on launching criminal prosecution were forwarded to the Interior Ministry.

On May 11, reports said a new criminal case was opened against Sergei Mavrodi, the founder of the notorious MMM financial pyramid.

Criminal proceedings were opened in the Kolyvansky district of the Novosibirsk region by an interrogating officer under Article 33, Part 5 and Article 171, part 1 /"abetting illegal entrepreneurship"/, an official at the Prosecutor General's Office /PGO/ said.

The probe into a case against local resident Alexei Astafyev, 40, who headed the Novosibirsk region branch of MMM 2011, became groundwork for opening new criminal proceedings against Mavrodi.

"A check ascertained that Astafyev had headed an MMM 2011 branch. The operation was effected with direct support of MMM 2011 founder Sergei Mavrodi," the PGO said.

"Mavrodi abetted the crime with advice, instructions, advertisement support and information resources. The criminal cases against Astafyev and Mavrodi have been pooled into one," the PGO said.

The MMM pyramid was one of the largest financial schemes in Russia in the early 1990s.

Investigators recognized 10,454 people as injured parties, but experts said the number of cheated investors reached into some ten million.

According to mass media reports, Mavrodi and his brother Vyacheslav earned three billion roubles on their compatriots.

Mavrodi fled the investigators and was arrested in Moscow in January 2003. He had a fake passport. On April 24, 2007, Moscow's Chertanovsky court sentenced Mavrodi to 4.5 years in prison. The court found him guilty of fraud.

On July 11, the Moscow City Court upheld the verdict. By that time, Mavrodi had been set free, as he had already spent the entire term meted out by the court in the Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison.

Moscow bailiffs have 1,900 writs of execution to recover more than 4.2 billion roubles from Mavrodi in favor of former MMM investors.

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