Russian police have finally arrested the man who bilked millions of Russians out of their life savings in the early 1990s. Sergei Mavrodi has been on the run since 1995, when the pyramid investment scheme he started collapsed and he fled abroad. A career criminal, Mavrodi was first sentenced to prison in 1983, at age 17, for selling bootleg videos. Ten years later he was in prison again for fraud, but he managed to get himself elected to parliament while still behind bars by offering voters free beer. His status as a lawmaker ensured him immunity from prosecution. But he never showed up for parliamentary sessions, and his colleagues kicked him out after the pyramid scheme collapsed. Russians lost more than $100 million in Mavrodi’s investment scam, little of which is expected to be recovered.
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