MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia’s most infamous fraudster Sergei Mavrodi, whose notorious MMM Ponzi scheme deprived millions of Russians of their life savings during the 1990s, has died in a local Moscow hospital of a heart attack, a source in medical circles told TASS on Monday.
"He was taken to the 67th city clinical hospital as an unidentified person. He is now being taken to the forensic morgue No. 5," the source said.
"The Ritual state funeral service is helping and assisting the family of Sergei Mavrodi with his burial," the company’s spokesman said in response to an inquiry from TASS.
As media outlets reported earlier, Mavrodi, the founder of the infamous MMM Ponzi scheme in the 1990s, died in a Moscow hospital. According to media reports, Mavrodi was taken to a hospital from his apartment on Komsomolsky Avenue in central Moscow where he lived.
Meanwhile, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported that Mavrodi was rushed to the hospital from a bus stop in the northern section of Moscow. The ex-convict complained of weakness and heart pain so a passer-by called an ambulance for him. A heart attack is being reported as the preliminary cause of his death.
The notorious MMM company, which existed from 1989 to 1994 in Russia, was recognized as one of the biggest financial pyramid schemes.
In 1994, Mavrodi got himself elected as a lawmaker to the State Duma, a decision he later said was to ensure that he received immunity from prosecution, but he was stripped of his mandate later.
Mavrodi who had been on the run trying to avoid the long arm of the law due to his fraud schemes, was arrested in Moscow with a forged passport in January 2003. In April 2007, the court found him guilty of swindling millions of Russians of out of their life savings and sentenced him to 4.5 years in jail for fraud.