Finiko collapses amid criminal investigation & death threats
Following the introduction of its FNK token exit-scam, Finiko has disabled withdrawals confirming its collapse.
Owing to it being a Russian Ponzi scheme, specific details of Finiko’s collapse are scarce. I’m relying on auto-translations for the most part.
From what I’ve been able to gather Finiko withdrawal issues began on or around July 12th.
Whereas we typically don’t see Russian authorities take action against MLM scammers, Finiko is not only run from Russia but also targeted Russian investors.
Finiko started as a Russian language Ponzi scheme in August 2019. When the original scam collapsed, Finiko rebooted in early 2020.
The new iteration was still pitched at Russians but also targeted international investors.
BehindMLM reviewed Finiko in May 2020. At the time Alexa pegged 70% of traffic to Finiko’s website from Russia.
Today Russia accounts for 82% of traffic. South Africa is the second largest at 4%, followed by Switzerland at 2%.
Russian authorities cracking down on Finiko would certainly explain the FNK token exit-scam and subsequent collapse.
Russian media began covering Finiko’s collapse on July 17th. Kirill Doronin is credited as a co-founder of the company.
Doronin (right) claims the same on his personal Instagram profile.
In a social media announcement made on July 16th, Doronin claimed he’d been unable to contact his three Finiko partners. He also claimed to be locked out of Finiko’s accounts.
Doronin’s partners, credited as Edward Sabirov, Marat Sabirov and Zygmunt Zygmuntovich, claim just prior to Finiko’s July 12th collapse, Doronin
asked to withdraw all the money from the accounts to open three more companies in other countries, and then said:
“I am ***, and under threat, of course, I have made this transaction of funds.”
On July 19th the Sabirovs and Zygmuntovich issued a followup statement, blaming Doronin for Finiko’s collapse and claiming they now feared for their own lives.
In a twenty-five minute video uploaded to YouTube, the trio distanced themselves from operation of Finiko.
Update 14th September 2021 – In what is likely an attempt to hide evidence, the video featuring Zygmuntovich and the Sabirovs referenced above has been deleted from YouTube.
I’ve as such disabled the previously accessible link to the video. /end update
Zygmuntovich and the Sabirovs claim they took orders from Doronin.
All the tasks that I (was) assigned, or I and the guys did – all the tasks came directly from Kirill. And he set all the tasks, ”Zygmuntovich said.
“And the ideas themselves were his. Everything connected with all programs, with the token – these are not our ideas,” Marat Sabirov added.
Kirill is the direct founder of the system, the Finiko platform. And he has repeatedly stated this, including from the stage.
As recounted by the trio, Doronin fled Russia for Turkey on July 1st. It was from there that Doronin got in touch to request all Finiko funds be transferred to him.
At the time Doronin told his partners the funds were needed to pay affiliate withdrawal requests.
He later told them he was “under threat” from “very serious people”.
Doronin purportedly then returned to Moscow and began to party. 36 hours after returning he told Marat Sabirov an attempt had been made on his life.
Personally I don’t believe any of that. It seems we have a classic case of Ponzi admin withdraws what’s left and goes underground.
The moving of funds out of Russia is telling.
In the same video linked above, Zygmuntovich and the Sabirovs reveal Finiko has been under criminal investigation since last year.
When we were summoned in December, we were first jailed with lawyers, who were represented either by Kirill himself or by his man.
We were against these lawyers. But we were told: “We need to say it this way, and then the criminal case will be closed,” – said Edward.
The case, by the way, has not been closed, and the investigators have a reason to initiate a criminal case against the trinity under the article on perjury.
Witnesses are warned about criminal liability both before the interrogation itself and after, signing the protocol.
It turns out that the Sabirovs and Zygmuntovich made a sincere confession on the air.
According to them, they believed Doronin, who supposedly has access to “the right people.”
He has always voiced that he has connections in the top, that any issue will be resolved, and with a criminal case too.
He constantly stated this, he kept us in a kind of fear by this, ”Sabirov said.
Why did they follow the lead in this case? “ It was scary that there was a criminal case and that they could put us in jail for 15 years,” explained the Sabirovs.
Despite running a Ponzi scheme for two and a half years and assisting Doronin with stealing who knows how much money from Finiko investors, Zygmuntovich and the Sabirovs maintain they had “no intentions to do anything bad”.
Appearing in a video released shortly after, Doronin didn’t deny the accusations but stated he “still needed to figure out how (he) can prove my case”.
To that end Doronin sought to soften Finiko’s collpase, with the offer of refunds.
Those people who entered in the last 3-5 months should get their money first.
Anyone who’s seen a Ponzi scheme promise refunds before knows how that ends. Math is math, offering refunds when you and your top investors have stolen most of the money is impossible.
Doronin is touting Finiko refunds to affiliates who provide video evidence they didn’t receive more than they invested.
Speaking with Russian authorities, Tatar Inform confirmed a criminal investigation was opened into Finiko last December.
In December last year, the police of Tatarstan opened a criminal case against unidentified persons under the article “Organization of a financial pyramid” according to the history of Finiko.
Now law enforcement officers are waiting for a clear answer from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation regarding the activities of Finiko.
The head of the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Tatarstan clarified that Doronin and his partners have not yet been prosecuted as suspects in the case.
Note that this is a difficult case to track due to language-barriers and well, because Russia.
We’ll do our best to report on any updates.
Update 30th July 2021 – Russian authorities have arrested Kirill Doronin.