In August, eight criminal proceedings were initiated in the Samara region of Russia against members of Finiko.
Finiko founder arrested in Russia
Finiko was one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history involving cryptocurrencies, to the extent that on 20 August Moscow police arrested its founder, Kirill Doronin, and some of his close associates, including its two vice presidents, Ilgiz Shakirov and Dina Gabdullina, and the so-called “10th star” Lilia Nurieva.
International arrest warrants were also issued for three other close associates of Doronin, namely Zygmunt Zygmuntovich, Marat Sabirov, and Edward Sabirov, who, however, managed to escape before the investigation began.
The investigative divisions of the territorial bodies of the Russian Interior Ministry are pursuing other promoters of this scam, particularly in the Samara region.
This is reported by a local website, which reveals that they are eight employees of the investment company “Finiko” who, between July 2020 and July 2021, cashed in over 6 million roubles ($83,000) belonging to residents of the Samara region by convincing them with deception and promising large profits thanks to improbable investments in an “automated profit generation system”.
The Ministry’s territorial department of internal affairs itself set up a special telephone number so that other victims of the scam could report their cases.
However, the scam had extended far beyond the territory of Samara, so this may be only the first case in Russia against the company’s employees or the promoters of the scam.
Finiko scam: losses amount to one billion roubles
The territorial department is documenting all the facts related to Finiko’s illegal activities, although the investment company appears to be a kind of ghost entity, which could help extend the investigation to the rest of Russia.
So far, at least 3,300 people have been defrauded, not only from Russia but also from other former Soviet countries such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The total losses have so far been calculated at 1 billion roubles, which is almost 14 million dollars, but according to some estimates the real total could even exceed 4 billion dollars.
According to a report by Chainalysis, Finiko has received more than $1.5 billion in BTC since December 2018, well before July 2020 from which the Russian investigation starts, and more than half of this amount came from Eastern Europe.