When I first learned of Sergey Mavrodi’s passing earlier today, my first reaction was “What is he pulling this time?”
Such has been the staying power of Mavrodi’s MMM Global since it first popped up in 2011.
Without a doubt MMM Global is one of, if not the most pervasive fraudulent schemes in MLM history.
By now it has been confirmed that Sergey Mavrodi did indeed pass early morning on March 26th.
On the evening of March 25th, Mavrodi (right) is reported to have been waiting at a bus stop in Russia’s capital, Moscow.
At some point he is believed to have been struck down by a heart attack.
After attracting the attention of a random passer-by, Mavrodi complained of ‘of weakness and pain in his heart.‘
An ambulance was called and Mavrodi was rushed off to hospital. Doctors however were unable to revive him and he passed in the early hours of this morning.
I’m not going to pretend to know how an individual who scammed millions of people around the world out of millions of dollars, wound up dead on the streets of Moscow waiting for a bus.
As with everything Mavrodi, the truth is probably far less fantastical than the fiction that will no doubt surface at some point.
Mavrodi began his Ponzi career back in 1989 with MMM.
MMM was a Ponzi scheme that primarily targeted Russians. It eventually collapsed in 1997.
After his arrest in 2003 and a four and a half year prison stint, Mavrodi resurfaced in 2011 with MMM-2011.
MMM-2011 collapsed in 2012 but subsequent reboots would eventually be come to known as variations of MMM Global.
MMM Global itself was Mavrodi’s attempt to take his Ponzi brand worldwide. And by all accounts, while it lasted, MMM Global was spectacularly lucrative.
MMM Global spread like a virus across every major continent in the world, primarily throughout poor third-world countries.
Mavrodi marketed his Ponzi scheme on the concept of an ever-looming financial apocalypse. MMM Global was presented as the only viable alternative.
That fiction was shattered in 2016, following MMM Global’s collapse and Sergey Mavrodi going into hiding.
Even as late as last year MMM Ghana was still active. And no doubt there are variations of MMM still running across Africa, such has been the staying power of Mavrodi’s marketing.
There was even talk of a Mavrodi altcoin relaunch last December.
Based on the details of his death, Mavrodi himself retreated to Russia after MMM Global collapsed.
After his 2003 arrest, Russian authorities don’t appear to have ever again taken an interest in Mavrodi’s schemes.
This is likely due to MMM Global never gaining traction in Russia. Whether this was by design on Mavrodi’s part though I can’t say.
Part of the MMM Global mythos is that after MMM Global collapsed, the various “MMM” scams doing the rounds were set up by scammers that “stole” Mavrodi’s brand and image to promote them.
I don’t think Mavrodi ever personally confirmed this and, up until his death, he remained largely reclusive.
That’s not to say however that he didn’t keep himself busy. In his later years Mavrodi went on to author several books.
“Lucifer’s Son”, part one of Mavrodi’s “Temptation Chronicles” is probably the best known.
Does the Devil exist? Is there really a fallen angel named Lucifer?
Are the temptations that beset mankind really the products of an evil Satan? Are the fires of Hell a reality?
And your answers to these questions are:_____? Undecided, perhaps? Then, read on.
On some level I’d like to think the guilt of scamming so many out of so much contributed to Mavrodi’s heart condition. No doubt wishful thinking for sure, as Mavrodi never really presented himself as the remorseful type.
Still, while Mavrodi’s life is obviously not worth celebrating by any stretch, undoubtedly the MLM underbelly has nonetheless lost one of its more colorful characters.
The videos of an oft disheveled Mavrodi against the backdrop of a Russian basement, in defiant 80s styled spectacles and arms raised above his head for no reason, were amusingly one of a kind.
Amid the current landscape of soulless digital tokens operated by faceless unknowns from shady Telegram groups, I’ll always have a lingering appreciation of Mavrodi’s entertaining and definitely unique branding.
Спасибо за воспоминания. Прощай навсегда, Мавро́ди.