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.
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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.