Author`s name Michael Simpson

Notorious Swindler to Serve Sentence

Three criminal proceedings have been instituted against the MMM financial pyramid founder
The result of the trial on Sergey Mavrodi, Russia’s most notorious financial pyramid founder, is incredibly surprising. Early on December 3, the Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow brought a verdict on the MMM pyramid founder and sentenced Sergey Mavrodi to a year and one month imprisonment for passport forgery (the Russian Federation Criminal Code clause 33 part 3, clause 327 part 1), Russia's news agency RIA Novosti reports. Right from the court, Sergey Mavrodi was taken to a colony to serve the sentence.

The MMM financial pyramid founder has been on the wanted list since December 1997; he was detained in Moscow on January 31, 2002. During the search in the apartment where the criminal was detained the police discovered a passport with the name of Yury Zaitsev registered in St.Petersburg and lost by the rightful holder at the end of 2000.

The accused absolutely admitted his guilt and repented of what he had done. In addition to the above mentioned extenuation circumstances, the court also took into consideration Mavrodi's positive references and the fact that his 7-year daughter depends upon him.  

A sentence upon Sergey Mavrodi was passed without hearing at court. The court made a decision not to hold hearing upon a petition of the accused. Mavrodi's attorney Olga Makarova asked to impose conditional punishment upon the accused, however the court considered objectives and motives of the crime he had committed and rejected the appeal.
 
Public Prosecutor Marina Syrova suggested the punishment of one year and three months imprisonment in a colony. Thus, the sentence passed by the court is just a bit lighter than that suggested by the public prosecutor.  
 
As soon as the sentence was announced, Mavrodi's attorney Olga Makarova said she would appeal against the court decision. She intends to seek some other punishment for the accused, not imprisonment.

The Interior Ministry's committee of inquiry has instituted three criminal proceedings against the notorious founder of the MMM financial pyramid Sergey Mavrodi, 48. The case considered at the Khamovnichesky Court of Moscow is the first one. The basic criminal case of Sergey Mavrodi is soon to be passed to court. The chairman of the MMM organization and its branch establishments is accused of swindle (the RF Criminal Code, clause 147).
 
The committee of inquiry states that being the founder and the chairman of the MMM association, JSC MMM-Fund and MMM-Invest, Sergey Mavrodi seized other people's property under the pretext of selling MMM certificates and shares. The damage caused to the people, mostly pensioners and aged people, made up over 110 million rubles. 60,000 people have been declared suffered.  
 
Tax evasion is another charge brought against Sergey Mavrodi; investigation of the case has been already completed. For the time being, the accused and the defence are studying materials of the case.

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