The blogger is accused of swindling customers by offering business training courses that promised quick riches
Popular blogger and business coach Ayaz Shabutdinov was arrested and charged with defrauding clients in Moscow on Saturday.
According to the prosecution, the 32-year-old man duped people by selling high-priced master classes and webinars that cultivated a “false impression” about their ability to “start a successful business and generate guaranteed super high income.”
One of his courses promised to teach people how to earn “at least a million rubles.” The case against Shabutdinov was reportedly opened after a complaint from one of his clients.
The business coach is facing charges over multiple counts of fraud associated with marketing and selling of his courses, training, and webinars. He denies any wrongdoing, and will stay in pre-trial detention until mid-December. If found guilty, he could face up to ten years in prison.
Shabutdinov, the founder of Like Center, promoted his firm as a “learning institution focused on technology for business owners.” He amassed an impressive following of over 2 million subscribers on Instagram and over 300,000 on YouTube and Telegram. His paid training courses ranged from 100,000 rubles ($1,090) to 1.9 million rubles ($20,712).
His arrest appears to be part of a wider crackdown against online coaches who promise dramatic results.
In April, Elena Blinovskaya, a Russian lifestyle coach and motivational speaker, was arrested as she attempted to flee the country. Blinovskaya, who has 5.3 million followers on Instagram, was accused of tax fraud of over $11 million, an allegation she later admitted to.
Earlier this year, another popular blogger that specializes in fitness, Valeria Chekalina, was charged with failing to pay more than $3.39 million in taxes.
In September, a blogger known as ‘Bitmama’ among crypto investors was arrested in Moscow for allegedly defrauding a client out of nearly 7 billion rubles ($72 million). Prosecutors claimed that the woman, whose real name is Valeria Fedyakina, had organized a financial pyramid scheme and did not intend to return the money.
November 05, 2023 at 12:00PM