Nigerian investors’ plight worsens as MMM founder Mavrodi dies at 62
Published March 27, 2018
Samson Folarin with agency report
Russian businessman, Sergei Mavrodi, whose MMM pyramid scheme deprived millions of Russians of their savings in the 1990s, has died of a heart attack.
Reports said the 62-year-old was rushed to a hospital late on March 25, following complaints of chest pain. He died several hours later.
According to Moskovsky Komsomolets, a Moscow-based newspaper, Mavrodi complained of weakness and pain in the heart and was hospitalised.
“Mavrodi was hospitalised in the 67th city hospital. He could not be saved – he died this morning,” the paper reported.
Mavrodi promised returns of 20 per cent to 75 per cent a month, as well as lotteries and bonuses for investors.
As soon as the number of new clients stopped growing, the pyramid collapsed, causing huge financial losses for at least 10 million people, in some cases leaving them in destitution.
The ponzi scheme came to Nigeria in 2016 and many people rushed at it, made gains and invited their family members and friends who invested millions of naira.
The scheme went on a one-month break in December 2016 before its eventual collapse with the funds of many Nigerians trapped in it.
While some Nigerians, who lost money to the ponzi scheme, described the news of Mavrodi’s death as fake, others greeted the news with excitement.
On the Facebook page of the group, one Dave Aguode threatened to ban any member spreading the news of the death.
He said, “Hello everyone, please disregard any news about the death of the MMM founder until you see it in your POs. MMM is working. For now, the planned launch of MMM crypto-currency will pay old mavro.
But another member, Prince Preye, however, lamented that Mavrodi died while his N.1m investment was still trapped in the ponzi scheme.
On his own part, one Oene Rosehaniel Alapaankeil remarked that Mavrodi’s death was long overdue as “our money died long ago.”
“Who cares if he dies? After all, our money died long ago, so it is his turn,” Alapaankeil said.
Another participant, Samuel Alozie, believed Nigerians’ voodoo killed him.
He said, “Nigerian juju has caught up with him. You died well. In your next life, you will not come to Nigeria to do business. You packed people’s money and ran away. You will have no rest anywhere you go.”
A consultant, Mr. Kenneth Eze, in response to a post by our correspondent, said the death would have affected more people if the scheme was still running well before the death.
He said, “The scheme was, to say the least, an informal one and since there is no valid contract in place, the depositors are left holding onto thin air. Those who would have suffered fatalities as a result of the failure of this scheme have already done so. So, there wouldn’t be much reaction to his death. It would have been worse if he died while the scheme was flourishing.”