The mastermind of the Finiko, the Russian pyramid scheme, Kirill Doronin has proposed to testify against a number of his former associates. He claims that these people violated his order of only accepting crypto from investors. The founder of the largest financial pyramid seen in Russia in modern times has already given detailed testimonies against plenty of other accomplices. It is obvious that the man has decided to cooperate with the Russian authorities because he is looking for limiting the consequences for himself. Known as an Instagram influencer, Doronin has also been associated with some other scams previously.
Now, he has shown willingness to testify against 44 of his associates, who he states took fiat cash from Finiko investors, even though it was something he hadn’t authorized. The Ponzi scheme had come crashing down this summer and Doronin had been arrested. He has been moved to the capital Moscow from the Russian Republic of Tarastan as the investigation had been taken over by the federal ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) because of the size of the fraud. It has been three months to his arrest, but the mastermind has refused to take responsibility and is blaming his assistants and partners for the collapse.
According to an article that quotes sources from law enforcement, Doronin is offering to provide exposing information pertaining to his accomplices. The leader of the phantom entity said that he was willing to give testimony about participants of Finiko who had taken fiat money from investors, including US dollars and Russian rubles. On November 18th in an investigation that lasted for hours, Doronin had provided a list of 44 people to MVD, which is around 10% of the pyramid’s influencers or ‘stars’ who had been tasked with enticing investors. He added that he was ready to offer incriminating testimony and evidence that would confirm the illegal actions of these people.
It is obvious that his defense is trying to convince the investigators that Finiko’s founder had only tasked its employees to accept cryptocurrencies. The same argument is probably going to be presented in court at some point in the future. However, this could also be a problem for him because Russia has not legalized crypto deals. Furthermore, members of the Ponzi scheme had also offered investors the option of converting their fiat funds into cryptocurrencies because majority of them did not have any digital assets.
Chainalysis had previously received that the Ponzi scheme had received $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin during December 2019 and August 2021 in 800,000 separate deposits. The 44 names that Doronin has provided comprise of some well-known faces related to Finiko. These include vice presidents Dina Gabdullina and Ilgiz Shakirov and Lilia Nurieva who had risen to the rank of ‘10th star’. Doronin’s lawyers are hoping that his detention would be changed to house arrest by the authorities in exchange for his cooperation, especially as he has recently become a father. However, this remains unlikely because the Finiko founder is unwilling to accept personal guilt and responsibility.