Kazakhstan's new criminal code threatens Ponzi scheme masterminds with severe punishment
Almaty. January 25. INTERFAX-KAZAKHSTAN - A new version of Kazakhstan's criminal code to be reviewed by the government in May this year would significantly toughen punishment for the creation and masterminding of Ponzi schemes.
According to Article 224 of the draft code, individuals organizing and masterminding Ponzi schemes would face fines of up to 3,000 monthly calculation indices (MCI) or correctional community work or would be imprisoned for 3 years without/with confiscation of their property. Gangs of individuals for the same offences would face imprisonment of up to 7 years without/with confiscation of property. Imprisonment could be up to 10 years when the same criminal activities were aimed at receiving extremely large amounts of money. (1 MCI is currently 1,731 tenge. The exchange rate is 150.7 tenge /$1).
Kazakhstan's current laws do not have a definition for Ponzi schemes and individuals cannot be prosecuted for this kind of fraud. As reported, over 2,600 people were cheated in a KazRosInvestProekt Ponzi scheme in 2011 in Kazakhstan, then its masterminds were jailed for fraud and tax evasion.
The new version of the criminal code would proceed to Kazakhstan's parliament in August this year.
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