MOSCOW, July 21 (RAPSI) – The Russian government's legislative commission approved a bill that would introduce criminal liability for Ponzi zcheme organizers, according to a statement on the government's website.

The bill would amend the Criminal Code by introducing criminal liability for organizers of financial pyramid schemes. “The goal is to facilitate the growth of the financial market, to reduce the financial losses of a considerable part of the public, and to increase public trust in financial instruments,” a note to the bill says.

The bill would also amend the Administrative Offenses Code by introducing administrative penalties for pyramid organizers and promoters whose activities do not constitute criminal acts. The bill would increase the fine for violators of Article 14.61 of the code from 5,000 rubles ($88) to 50,000 rubles ($880).

The bill is now to be considered at a government meeting.