Russian Ponzi scheme operator Mavrodi dies at age 62

MarketsAssociated Press

Sergei Mavrodi, a Russian operator of Ponzi schemes and sometime politician, has died. He was 62.

Mavrodi shot to fame in Russia's chaotic and poverty-stricken 1990s, promising vast profits to investors in his MMM schemes, many of whom lost their savings when the pyramid schemes collapsed.

Continue Reading Below

At the height of his fame he was a TV personality and was elected a member of parliament in 1994, which gave him immunity from prosecution. He later served a four-year prison term for fraud, but was only ordered to pay back a fraction of the sums invested in his schemes.

Russian state news agencies say Mavrodi died in a Moscow hospital. The precise circumstances weren't immediately clear.

According to his Twitter account, Mavrodi had recently launched a "marketing system" using blockchain technology.