Financial Company JSC Russian house “Selenga” (RHS), one of the earliest Ponzi schemes in Russia, started functioning in 1992. People easily believed in the promise of golden treasure from respected people — Sergei Grusin, KGB lieutenant and Alexander Salamatin, Volgograd Oblast Executive Committee employee. There was literally tons of money in turnover in the RHS.
Once an unusual air freight was arrested in Irkutsk. During the inspection it was found to be consisted of banknotes. Two tons of money was transported to the RHS staff. It was seized, but it was only a drop in the financial sea in which the pyramid management was bathing.
An investor reads a deposit agreement with the Russian House ‘Selenga’.
The information on how the money of depositors was spent is legendary. For example, it is known that there were orders to award particularly distinguished employees. These Orders were made of gold and decorated with precious stones. The cost of such orders could be up to six hundred million rubles.
RDS management made no bones about the money – boldly buying unneeded planes worth many millions, paying bonuses, purchasing property. As a result, this led to still quite popular pyramid collapsing after two years of its existence — in 1994 after the tax audits of several branches. two criminal cases were initiated against RHS management. Three years later, the Russian House “Selenga” was declared bankrupt. almost two and a half million people appeared waiting for compensation from the pyramid scheme. Until now there are payments made. However, one can hardly get the real amount – some deceived investors are invited to go to Volgograd, where the company was registered to receive “five cents”. There are few wishing to do this.
Well, after years of trial pyramid organizers were imprisoned. The trial took place in 2000, and just a year later they were set at liberty — for good behavior. According to the investigators’ calculations, they were able to pull out of gullible Russians about three trillion rubles.