A court in Tatarstan has extended the detention of Kirill Doronin, founder of Russia’s largest Ponzi scheme in recent times, Finiko. Doronin will spend at least two more months in custody as authorities fear he could hide from law enforcement. Ilgiz Shakirov, vice-president of the crypto pyramid, remains under detention as well.
Finiko Mastermind Doronin Denied House Arrest
Vakhitovsky District Court of Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, has decided to keep the two most prominent figures of the Finiko crypto pyramid in custody. This week, the court announced it has extended the detention period for Kirill Doronin, who established the Ponzi scheme in December 2018, until Nov. 28. Finiko defrauded hundreds of thousands of investors before it collapsed in July this year when he was arrested.
Three lawyers representing Finiko’s founder asked judicial authorities to place Doronin under house arrest, insisting he has to look after his wife, pregnant with their third child. The court, however, rejected their plea, citing the severity of the crimes he is accused of as well as the risks of him hiding from investigators, exerting pressure on witnesses and engaging in other criminal activity. Judges also pointed out that he has a Turkish passport and does not reside at his official address.
Quoted by local news outlet Realnoe Vremya, Doronin, an Instagram influencer associated with other Ponzi schemes in the past, admitted he was well aware of the risks he was taking “as a person who most often talked about the ‘Phoenician’ project in this country.” He insisted that the analysis of the investigation materials shows his role “was not dominant in the management of the assets” and stated:
I intend to understand what is happening, and why exactly I am accused of embezzlement.
With promises of extraordinarily high returns, Finiko lured investors from Russia, Ukraine, and a number of other countries in the region and beyond, including Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the United States. Over 3,300 complaints have been filed so far. According to a report by Chainalysis, the Ponzi scheme has received over $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in less than two years of existence.
Crypto Pyramid ‘Vice President’ Ilgiz Shakirov Remains in Custody
Besides Doronin, authorities in Tatarstan arrested the crypto pyramid’s “Vice President” Ilgiz Shakirov this month, a businessman from the city of Kazan who rose to the high rank in the phantom entity after allegedly attracting 100,000 people to the Ponzi scheme. On Wednesday, the Vakhitovsky District Court extended his detention until the last Sunday of November — the same date given to Doronin.
Law enforcement in the Russian republic also detained two women, members of the crypto pyramid’s team. Dina Gabdullina, another “vice president”, and Lilia Nurieva, who achieved the status of a so-called “10th star” in the Finiko hierarchy, are suspected of enticing investors to send over $10 million to the scam through multi-level marketing techniques.
International arrest warrants have been issued for another three co-founders, Zygmunt Zygmuntovich and Marat and Edward Sabirov, who managed to leave Russia before the investigation began in late July. According to media reports, court authorities have allowed investigators to seize control over 12 real estate properties belonging to Zygmuntovich and Kirill Doronin.
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