MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti)
The Belarusian central bank has ordered a freeze on bank accounts of suspected organizers of the reincarnated MMM financial pyramid, the tut.by online news portal reported on Wednesday, quoting banking sources.
The collapse of Sergei Mavrodi's 1990s MMM pyramid scheme cost millions of Russians their life savings. The scam attracted between two and five million investors who lost around $1.5 billion when it collapsed. Mavrodi served a four-and-a-half-year sentence and was released in May 2007.
In 2011, Mavrodi unveiled a new scheme, which uses an online payment system, WebMoney, to allow investors to buy tickets that work like shares, but have no real value. He promised investors returns of 20-30 percent per month.
Last week, the Belarusian security services detained the suspected organizers of the pyramid, launching a criminal case against them on charges of “illegal entrepreneurship.”
Police have seized plastic cards worth some 800 million Belarusian rubles ($100,000) from the suspects.
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