MOSCOW (AP) _ A trial opened Thursday in a southern town against the leaders of one of Russia's high-risk investment companies that went bankrupt, wiping out people's savings, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

The Russian House of Selenga was one of the biggest pyramid-type companies to come along after the 1991 Soviet collapse. It advertised extensively on Russian television and persuaded some 2 million Russians to invest their money in its fund, which promised high interest rates.

In addition to swindling, the trial in Volgograd against Selenga leaders Sergei Salomadin and Alexander Gruzin will address charges that they misappropriated about $5 million through the company's subsidiaries, ITAR-Tass said.

Selenga continued collecting money from unwitting depositors even after it was banned by Russia's Supreme Arbitration Court. The firm went bankrupt four years ago, causing many investors to lose their entire investment.