Sergei Mavrodi, the mastermind behind the Ponzi scheme, MMM, has reportedly died of a heart attack. Reports claim that the 62-year-old Russian businessman died after being rushed to the hospital following complaints of chest pain. Mavrodi would die in the hospital merely hours later. Mavrodi had been diagnosed a bilateral heart problem since he was a little boy.
His initial encounter with illegal financial transactions was in 1983, for which he was locked up for ten days. In the 1990s Mavrodi’s pyramid scheme crashed and left millions of Russians in destitution. Mavrodi founded the scheme, MMM, with his brother, Vyacheslav Mavrodi and a lady, Olga Melnikova. The name of the company is an acronym made from the first letters of their last names.
The Ponzi scheme executed by MMM in the 1990s is still one of the bigger schemes of all time as about 10 million people lost their savings. History repeated itself in 2011 when Mavrodi relaunched MMM. The story of Mavrodi’s life was turned into a feature film called ‘The PyraMMMid’ in that same year. He took the scheme out of Russia to countries like Nigeria, India, Zimbabwe, South Africa and China.
Before resurrecting the scheme, Mavrodi had a number of legal issues he had to deal with. He was arrested in 2003 after being on the international wanted list since 1998.
A court in Moscow found him guilty of making off with $4.3 million from about 10,000 people. Although he was sentenced to four and a half years in a penal colony, he regained his freedom in less than a month because he had spent more than four years in custody and was fined with $390.
The controversial business mind published a book in 2008 called ‘Temptation’ but his rights to the were arrested by bailiffs but not before 7,000 copies were sold.
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