The Russian police are continuing their investigation into a cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme that has potentially cost investors $95 million.
Approximately 100 investors reported the financial organization Finiko to the police in July. These declarations confirmed financial losses in the millions of rubles. According to additional reports, the amount could be as high as 7 billion rubles. At the time of publication, this amounted to approximately $95 million.
Three of the Finiko co-founders are still at large, and police are looking for them. Zygmunt Zygmuntovich, as well as Edward and Marat Sabirov, are currently missing. On August 11, Russian authorities placed the men on a wanted list.
Meanwhile, on July 30, the police detained their fellow co-founder, Kirill Doronin. According to reports, he was charged with fraud “on an especially large scale” under part 4 of article 159 of the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code. Doronin, the court heard, had obtained Turkish citizenship prior to his arrest, ostensibly to establish a trading company in Turkey.
Doronin was detained until the end of September as a result of the investigation and the prosecution. Meanwhile, the defense requested house arrest as an alternative, citing Doronin’s wife’s pregnancy and the impending birth.
Finiko’s case was first filed in December 2020. In addition, in early July, the Bank of Russia designated the organization as a Ponzi scheme suspect.
Russia takes action to combat cryptocurrency-related crime.
According to recent reports, a Russian financial watchdog group has begun work on a new cryptocurrency tracking tool. A tool designed to aid in the fight against cryptocurrency-related crime in the country. It will specifically target crypto wallets suspected of being linked to illegal activity or terrorist financing. The software will also monitor the cryptocurrency market for users who may have engaged in criminal activity.
Rosfinmonitoring, the financial watchdog in question, paid a contractor $200,000 to build the tracking tool. RCO, a major information technology firm, eventually won the contract. They will be in charge of “Implementation of work on the creation of a module for monitoring and analyzing cryptocurrency transactions using bitcoin,” according to reports.