Sergey Mavrodi, an eccentric Russian mathematician who founded the notorious MMM pyramid or Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s that swindled millions out of their savings, has died, his assistant said Monday.
Mavrodi, whose bespectacled face once featured on vouchers issued by the grandiose scheme, died at age 62, his assistant Alexander Vlasov told Moskva news agency.
The fraudster was found unconscious at a public transport stop, Interfax news agency reported, citing a source.
A mathematician who became one of the earliest computer programmers, Sergey Mavrodi first went into business selling pirated videos and CDs. He founded a company called MMMM that initially imported office equipment.
He then gave up trading and founded the financial pyramid of the same name that became the largest in Russia.
Lured by a catchy television advertising campaign, an estimated 10 to 15 million people invested and received vouchers that promised a huge return.
Mavrodi became “one of the most recognised personalities” in the country’s popular culture, Rossiiskaya Gazeta state newspaper.
The Creation Of Mavro Coin
In 2016, he announced the creation of his own cryptocurrency – Mavro. In the first month, 33,000 people took part in the project. MMM stands for the first letters of the founders’ surnames – Sergey Mavrodi, Olga Melnikova and Vyacheslav Mavrodi.
However, some people believe that it stands for Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox. The company got a lot of money from people – it was making about 50 million USD each day. MMM started as a company that imported office equipment.
THE INTERVIEW STUNT
It is interesting that after Mavrodi`s death an interview with him was published in the pages of the Russian Forbes (a serious edition, isn’t it?). The founder of the financial pyramid answered the questions of journalists by e-mail. Forbes is not assured of the authenticity of the interview — Mavrodi (or the person with whom they communicated) could not even confirm his identity, but the journalists managed to contact him (or not) through the website mavro.org and he confirmed his identity through his account on Twitter with the mark “official”. Whether it was the original Mavrodi or not, remains unknown. But one thing is clear — the project mavro.org is connected with Sergey Mavrodi`s “official” Twitter.
The impression is that this interview is the embedded advertising of the cryptocurrency “Mavro”, and Sergey Mavrodi’s death became an excellent PR opportunity for the project (now Mavro is launching an ICO).