DUSHANBE, October 28, 2015, Asia-Plus – Jamshed Siyayev, founder of the Tajik pyramid-scheme firm Jamal and Co, has died in jail.

According to the Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service , Jamshed Siyayev died of heart attack in the Vahdat penal colony in the night of October 27.

The firm reportedly cheated thousands of Tajik citizens out of thousands of dollars through a pyramid scheme based on bead stringing.

We will recall that top managers of the Dushanbe firm Jamal and Co. were arrested on suspicion of tax evasion, money laundering, and other financial crimes on August 15, 2003.

Reportedly, about 6,000 Tajik citizens became involved in the firm’s bead-stringing business, some selling their homes and cars in order to invest up to $10,000 in the purchase of materials. The finished strings were then to be sold to the firm. Tajik law enforcement authorities considered the business a simple pyramid scheme.

The firm was forced by the authorities to return to more than 1,000 investors sums of up to $1,000.  The funds were found in the company''s office when it was shut down by the authorities on August 15 and the firm''s top managers were detained. Those managers were subsequently charged with obtaining money under false pretenses and tax evasion.

The case of Jamal and Co. moved to the Supreme Court on October 30, 2003 and the Tajik Supreme Court handed down hefty jail sentences to top managers of the Dushanbe firm Jamal and Co for tax evasion and illegal banking activities on December 31, 2003.

Jamshed Siyayev was sentenced to eleven years in prison, while his deputy Zafar Kamolov and chief accountant Vyacheslav Tsoi were sentenced to eight years each.