Russian businessman tycoon Sergei Mavrodi, whose MMM ponzi scheme deprived millions of Russians of their hard earned savings in the 1990s, has died of a heart attack, according to a Russian media outlet. MMM’s history cannot be told in Nigeria without mentioning the lives lost due to the scheme’s break down in December, 2016.
Reports has it that the 62-year-old Sergei was rushed to the hospital late on March 25 with a severe pain in his chest and died several hours later in the hospital.
Mavrodi’s MMM financial pyramid was built on a typical Ponzi scheme in which earlier investors receive their profits from subsequent referred investors. Mavrodi promised returns of 20 percent to 75 percent a month, as well as giveaway lotteries and bonuses for the smart investors. The business was booming until it occuree to many that they’ve been played.
As soon as the rate of new clients dropped , the pyramid collapsed, causing huge financial losses for at least 10 million people, in some cases leading them to abject destitute.
In 1994, Sergei was elected as a lawmaker in Russia, 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 four and half years in a penal colony.
In 2011, Sergei launched another pyramid scheme called MMM-2011, calling on not satisfied investors to purchase so-called Mavro currency units in a bid to get rid of the “unfair” financial system. 15 months later, Mavrodi halted the project.
From 2011-16, Mavrodi launched Ponzi schemes under the MMM brand in various economically serious countries like India, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria.
In many of those countries, Mavrodi’s operations were subsequently shut down or suspended one of which was in Nigeria.