Russia introduces prison sentences for financial scammers


Organizers of financial pyramids in Russia risk spending up to six years in prison and paying hefty fines, under amendments to the Criminal Code signed today by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

The new penalties are introduced after earlier this month Putin signed another law that introduced fines for those who support financial pyramids by presenting them in a positive way and attracting investors to such fraudulent entities. But whereas the Code of Administrative Offenses envisages fines for fraudsters, the Criminal Code is harsher.

The penalties in the Criminal Code, approved today, will apply to organizers of financial pyramids if the sum defrauded from investors is higher than RUB 1.5 million.

If the sum of misappropriated funds exceeds RUB 1.5 million, the range of penalties includes:

  • A fine of up to RUB 1 million or the income of the defendant for two years;
  • Corrective labor for a period of up to four years;
  • Prison sentence of up to four years.

If the sum defrauded is higher than RUB 6 million, then the penalties include:

  • A fine of up to RUB 1.5 million or a fine equal to the income of the defendant for a period of three years;
  • Corrective labor for a period of five years;
  • Prison sentence of up to six years.

The Russian Duma approved the bill on March 16, 2016, whereas the Federation Council approved the document on March 23, 2016.

For the full text of the law amendments (in Russian), click here.

For the Kremlin press release, click here.

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Russia introduces prison sentences for financial scammers

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