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07:39 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Politics

Russian Pyramid Fraudster Founds Own Party

Politics
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The founder of the notorious 1990's MMM financial pyramid scheme which bankrupted millions of Russians has formed his own political party.

The founder of the notorious 1990's MMM financial pyramid scheme which bankrupted millions of Russians has formed his own political party.

Sergei Mavrodi's MMM party promised a"fair redistribution of funds" and "their rational use," at its inaugural congress in the western city of Kursk on Sunday.

Mavrodi founded the MMM investment fund, a Ponzi scheme which destroyed the savings of millions of investors when it collapsed in 1994.

He spent four and a half years in prison for MMM's fraudulent activity, but maintains his companies did nothing illegal.

Since his release in 2007, he has launched several similar schemes both in Russia and abroad.

Earlier this year, MMM-related companies in Ukraine and Lithuania came under investigation by the authorities. The Lithuanian authorities closed down an MMM scheme, while the Ukrainian authorities could not find any evidence the new MMM had broken Ukrainian law.