MMM: how people believed in the largest financial pyramid in Russia


Every resident of Russia heard about MMM, its rise and fall. Despite the colossal scale of the fraud, which served as a bitter lesson for at least 10 million people, Sergei Mavrodi’s enrichment system still lives on and more and more new depositors end up on it over and over again.

What was the essence of the pyramid scheme? How did people believe in the success of the scam and how did the fate of the campaign founder develop?

MMM is an organization that existed from 1989 to 1997. However, the famous tickets, which rose in price every week, and the financial pyramid itself did not last even six months. In February 1994, the first «shares» were issued, and in August their rate

MMM founders were 3 people: Sergei Mavrodi, his brother Vyacheslav and wife Vyacheslav Olga. The name of the campaign was the abbreviation of the initial letters of their names. However, Sergey was the head of the pyramid, its ideological inspirer and leader.

The man had a phenomenal memory and was an excellent mathematician. In his student years, the figure earned money on poker games, making and selling video materials. Since 1989, Sergei began to play for high stakes: he created «MMM» and initially traded in imported office equipment.

Things were going well, the campaign expanded its scope of activities and among other things became involved in advertising, stock exchange activities, voucher privatization and even holding beauty contests!

Since the end of 1993 Sergey

Then the activist began to sell tickets — pieces of paper that resembled Soviet chervonets. When buying a ticket, a person voluntarily donated his money to Sergei. When he sold them back to the MMM campaign, according to the documents, Mavrodi donated money to the depositor. The system was called «voluntary donations.»

People were forced to buy a ticket by the campaign’s promise to increase its value several times. The system worked for a while.

The only thing that people did not understand:

For example, Tanya bought a ticket for a thousand rubles from MMM, with the intention that its price will double in a week. Katya and Sergey bought such tickets in a week. Tanya left 2 thousand of them — she is happy, expectations were justified. But in order for Katya and Sergei to receive their 2 thousand as well, 4 new investors must come to MMM.

Sooner or later, new people stop coming to the pyramid. Then the old investors have nothing to pay with. People are indignant, they sell their papers en masse, the pyramid collapses. So, on February 1, the first tickets went on sale. In June, Mavrodi became one of the richest people in Russia, and at the end of July the pyramid collapsed.

The first investors benefited from the MMM pyramid. Those people who managed to sell their tickets on time before their cost fell. One of these lucky ones could be a lawyer from Rostov, Alexander Chakinski,

The man bought tickets for 18 thousand rubles, and sold them for 80. Fortunately, there was no limit. But he played the game, Alexander again invested these 80 thousand in MMM, hoping to make a million. I lost everything.

According to various estimates, this story unites from 2 to 15 million Russians. Someone invested all their funds, got into loans, sold property and went bankrupt.

Advertising and scale. MMM was advertised on all television channels, tickets were bought by masses of people. Someone really got rich, and their success was transmitted to newcomers by word of mouth. Lyonya Golubkov was especially noted — the character of Vladimir Permyakov, remembered by millions of people.

After the collapse of the pyramid, Mavrodi could not be planted for a long time, but still

However, Mavrodi did not calm down. In 2011, the activist organized new MMMs on the Internet around the world, and in 2017 he launched his own cryptocurrency.

The man died mysteriously. In 2018 on the street he felt bad and he