Kazakhstani authorities crack down on pyramid schemes

An organizer of the two Ponzi schemes promised regular citizens yields of 24% to 54% / Shutterstock

Law enforcement officials of the West Kazakhstan region are investigating two financial pyramids called Life is Good and Hermes Finance. A female suspect who run both pyramid schemes in Kazakhstan was detained and will stay in custody for two months.

«Kazakhstanis voluntarily gave more than $270,000 in total to the perpetrator,» the Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) said in a statement.

According to the agency, the Ponzi scheme organizer promised people yields of 24% to 54%.

In 2021, the Russian Federal Foundation for the Protection of Investors and Shareholders Rights acknowledged that both Hermes Finance and Life is Good, which are controlled by Russian citizen Roman Vasilenko, were Ponzi schemes. Kazakhstani Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market has also put them on the blacklist as businesses with signs of being financial pyramids. As Business-vector.info reported, the two businesses have been operating since 2014. Their founder Vasilenko has been living in London. He hasn’t faced any official accusations yet.

According to FMA, there is a list of pyramid schemes in Kazakhstan. Since January 2023, the agency has detected 22 of them and blocked about 4,000 suspicious websites and accounts.

Last year, the FMA shut down 29 financial pyramids and managed to reclaim about $18.6 million in damage. However, despite all these efforts, people continue to seek easy money and invest in different Ponzi schemes.

Qnet is considered one of the biggest financial pyramids in Kazakhstan so far. It «earned» more than one million dollars. In March, FMA agents arrested both the company’s executive and its founder. They have been detained for two months.

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