Law Enforcement in Russia Investigates 8 Cases of Finiko-Related Fraud

ByEdward Thompson

Sep 28, 2021

The investigation into Finiko, the crypto pyramid scheme based in Russia, appears to be growing, as eight cases were launched by law enforcement officials in Russia’s Samara region, against Finiko associates. This has turned out to be the largest Ponzi scheme in Russia in years and authorities are also working hard to identify all the victims who suffered because of it. A region on the border of Tatarstan, is Samara Oblast and the Main Department of the Russian Ministry of Interior has opened an investigation into eight cases of fraud against associates of Finiko. 

As per the accusations, the members of this Ponzi scheme managed to misappropriate almost 6 million rubles from unsuspecting investors, who had invested because of promises of high returns during July 2020 and July 2021. According to a press release by law enforcement officials, in these cases, all the victims of this crypto scam are residents of the Samara region. Finiko representatives convinced these victims to deposit their money into the so-called ‘automated profit generation system’ of the scheme. According to the current exchange rates, this amount is around $83,000. It was further noted by the department that they are now investigating to get evidence of all illegal activities that had been conducted by the employees of the company in question.

This was basically a phantom entity, due to which authorities also make an effort to identify all the people who ended up falling for Finiko’s tactics, after the scheme collapsed this summer. Up until now, there are almost 3,300 people who have complained about losing their investment in the financial pyramid. These people belong to Russia, along with other countries in the Soviet space, such as Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. It also includes residents of the United States and EU member states. The losses that have been registered so far are around 1 billion rubles, which brings it around to $14 million. 

However, some estimates indicate that the total amount of losses is in excess of 4 billion rubles. Chainalysis released a report showing that more than $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin had been deposited in the Ponzi scheme since December 2018. The blockchain forensics company published a blog post on September 1st, showing that more than half of the value of cryptocurrencies that were sent to scam addresses in the Eastern Europe region during the said period had belonged to Russian-based Finiko. 

Authorities in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, the neighboring province of Samara, have detained several high-ranking executives of the scheme, which include the founder of the pyramid, Krill Doronin, along with its two vice presidents, Dina Gabdullina and Ilgiz Shakirov. Lilia Nurieva, who was given the rank of 10th-star was also arrested. Three close associates of Doronin, Marat, Edward Sabirov and Zygmunt Zygmuntovich had already left Russia before the investigation began in July, due to which authorities have issued international warrants for their arrest. The warrants were confirmed for their detention in absentia by the Supreme Court of Tarastan. The investigation has been taken over by Moscow’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, due to the magnitude of the fraud. 

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