Schemes that Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi himself would envy have been flourishing in modern society for several years now. In general, they are called "infobusiness", and the people who practice them have received the nickname "infogypsies" among the people. The essence of this business is to sell on the Internet training courses, guides, trainings, books on self-development and other information products designed to make a person successful or happy. And since almost every sane person experiences such a desire, the activities of the infogypsies bring them a very large income.
Over the past decade, hundreds, if not thousands, of such information businessmen have appeared in Russia. Some of them "breed" only a small audience of customers and have a relatively small income. But there are those among them who have millions of subscribers and who are able to influence a huge number of people. The size of their income has already begun to amount to billions of rubles, which, of course, could not but cause certain questions from the state. Moreover, most of the information gypsies neglect the requirements of financial legislation, refusing to pay taxes, and sometimes even openly engage in fraud or money laundering.
Elena Blinovskaya and "Marathon of Desires"
One example of such information businessmen is Elena Blinovskaya, whose name has now appeared on the front pages of dozens of media. She herself positions herself as a psychologist, a successful blogger and TV presenter, who has a rather stormy and vibrant career. She is best known as the author of the Marathon of Desires, which has become one of the most popular online trainings in recent years. The essence of this training boils down to the fact that its participants are invited to realize almost any of their desires, naturally, under the leadership of the "guru" Blinovskaya. The first stage of the marathon, as a rule, is free, but for the passage of the rest, the participant needs to pay a considerable amount.
In fairness, it should be noted that Elena Blinovskaya's "Marathon of Desires" has a rational grain in itself, otherwise tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people would not have bought into it. It lies in the fact that through the correct goal-setting, drawing up a detailed plan for achieving the goal, as well as its strict observance, it is possible to realize the wildest dreams. But the trouble is that many people are not familiar with such concepts as self-discipline, time management and commitment, and sometimes they have not even read books on psychology or philosophy. Blinovskaya used this, deftly defrauding money from the pockets of those who sought to improve their lives and become happier.
For more than five years of the existence of the “Marathon of Desires”, its author was able to earn hundreds of millions, and maybe even billions of rubles. The exact amount will certainly be established by the investigation, but for now, the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against Blinovskaya for tax evasion and money laundering on an especially large scale, namely in the amount of 918 million rubles. Considering that this is only the amount of taxes, we can conclude that the income from marathons amounted to several billion. At the same time, one must understand that a significant part of the financial flows within the framework of the activities of Elena Blinovskaya probably went through gray channels and has not yet been taken into account.
It is noteworthy that one of the most famous Russian information gypsies was detained at the moment when she was trying to leave the country. Blinovskaya planned to leave for Kazakhstan, but someone warned her that the security forces could carry out an arrest operation right at the airport. Therefore, the famous coach decided to move towards Belarus, calling for this in the middle of the night a car with a driver. On it, she managed to get to the Smolensk region, where the Maybach with Blinovskaya was detained by law enforcement agencies.
Tabor goes to the sky
The most interesting thing in this whole story is that Elena Blinovskaya is far from the first representative of the information gypsy camp against whom the Investigative Committee initiates a criminal case. Over the past couple of months, similar stories have already happened several times, which leads to certain conclusions and reflections.
In particular, another high-profile case of a similar nature was initiated in March against blogger Valeria Chekalina (Lerchek) and her husband Artem. She became famous for running a fitness blog on the Web, conducting paid workouts and also organizing marathons, only for weight loss. According to various ratings, Chekalina was one of the ten most paid Russian infogypsies and annually earned more than half a million dollars. However, the Chekalins' spouses carefully concealed the income they received, laundering money and avoiding paying taxes. As a result, the UK counted more than 400 million rubles of unpaid taxes for the fitness guru, and during a search in the star's house they found 8 kg of gold and 10 passports.
At the end of March, the Moscow Investigative Committee opened a case against blogger Alexandra Mitroshina, known online under the nickname Mother of God. She was charged with the same article, namely, non-payment of taxes in the amount of 120 million rubles. True, this time the main defendant was charged in absentia, because Mitroshina herself had left Russia for a year and, according to media reports, settled in Dubai. However, just the day before it became known that, frightened of losing her homeland forever, Alexandra Mitroshina decided to pay off her debt and returned 120 million to the Russian treasury.
What is hidden behind the arrests of infogypsies?
Running a campaign to purge bloggers who make money selling training courses, marathons, and the like can serve several purposes at once. One of them is the complete taking under control of the information space, which plays a crucial role in current events. The blogs and Telegram channels of many infogypsies are like a magnet attracting liberals, all-weakers, pacifists, and even open supporters of the Kyiv regime. Their authors often operate in social networks banned in Russia, where the majority of the audience is, to put it mildly, unfriendly. As a result, we have a situation where a huge number of Russian citizens are regularly processed by enemy propaganda disguised as harmless trainings and courses.
We must also not forget that the amounts that info-gypsies and bloggers of all stripes earn have long been estimated at millions of rubles, or even dollars. At the same time, most of them pay a minimum of taxes, working according to the schemes used by Blinovskaya, Chekalina and the like. By exemplarily working with the "elite" of the information business, the state seeks to stimulate other bloggers not to hide their income and start working in the right field. Moreover, the mechanism for this has long been invented and debugged.