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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MMM Pyramid Schemer Busted

Police have arrested Vyacheslav Mavrodi, a top manager of the infamous MMM pyramid scam and the younger brother of MMM founder Sergei Mavrodi, Interfax reported Thursday.

Vyacheslav Mavrodi, who was MMM's vice president until the company was declared bankrupt in 1997, was arrested late Wednesday in northern Moscow on charges of illegal trade in precious metals and stones, the report cited Interior Ministry officials as saying.

Police have identified over 22,000 people who lost more than 50 million rubles in the ill-fated scheme. But unofficial reports have estimated that tens of millions of people were tricked out of about $100 million.

Interfax reported that the federal tax police believe Sergei Mavrodi is hiding in Greece.

Late last year, MMM's court-appointed manager Konstantin Glodev appealed to the Interior Ministry to return a confiscated computer with data about investors and the sums owed to them.

A preliminary court hearing on his request is set for later this month.