BARNAUL, October 23 (RAPSI) – An employee of Russia's postal service Pochta Rossii joined a notorious MMM-2011 Ponzi scheme and transferred 3 million rubles (93,000) of federal budget funds to buy virtual stock, Federal Security Service reported on Wednesday.

The service reports that in April 2012, the woman joined the ranks of MMM-2011 shareholders upon advice from her relative. Consulting with the Ponzi scheme representatives, she was told to transfer money to a bank account used to buy the pyramid stock, the so-called MMM-dollars.

After the project crash and closure was announced in June 2012, the woman continued to participate in the scheme, ignoring the absence of any tangible profit. The scheme’s representatives continued to request financial transaction from her, that, according to them, would ensure the repayment of the woman’s money upon completion. The postal employee followed the instructions, and transferred more than 3 million rubles in under.

A criminal case was initiated on the major embezzlement charges, if convicted, the woman faces up to 10 years in prison.

Sergey Mavrodi, a former mathematician and computer programmer, set up MMM, a pioneering Ponzi scheme in Russia in the early 1990's, which rapidly gained huge popularity among thousands of investors among a population in the Soviet Union with scant previous knowledge of private investment. Investors joining the scheme early on made impressive profits, while those piling in later lost everything, leading to a catastrophe as MMM collapsed.

Mavrodi was arrested in 2003, and was sentenced by a Russian court to four years in jail on fraud-related charges in 2007. But he was released the same year because he had already served most of sentence in pretrial custody.

When freed, Mavrodi re-launched similar schemes, setting up MMM branches in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and elsewhere, with the ambition of "destroying the global financial system," as his website said.