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Nov 11

Jailed ChronoPay Co-Founder Denied Bail

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A Moscow court on Monday denied bail for Pavel Vrublevsky, a Russian businessman who was charged earlier this year with hiring hackers to launch costly online attacks against his rivals. The denial came even after Vrublevsky apparently admitted his role in the attacks, according to Russian news outlets.

Vrublevsky in 2004

Vrublevsky, 32, is probably best known as the co-founder of ChronoPay, a large online payment processor in Russia. He was arrested in June after Russian investigators secured the confession of a man who said he was hired by Vrublevsky to launch a debilitating cyber attack against Assist, a top ChronoPay competitor. The former ChronoPay executive reportedly wanted to sideline rival payment processing firms who were competing for a lucrative contract to process payments for Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline. Aeroflot’s processing systems faltered for several days in the face of the attack, an outage that Aeroflot says cost the company about a million dollars a day.

Vrublevsky’s lawyers asked the court to release him pending a trial in December — offering to pay 30 million rubles (~ USD $1 million) — but the court denied the request.

Vrublevsky co-founded ChronoPay in 2003 along with Igor Gusev, another Russian businessman who is facing criminal charges in Russia stemming from his alleged leadership role at GlavMed and SpamIt, sister programs that until recently were the world’s largest rogue online pharmacy affiliate networks. Huge volumes of internal documents leaked from ChronoPay last year indicate Vrublevsky co-ran a competing rogue Internet pharmacy — Rx-Promotion — although Vrublevsky publicly denies this.

Vrublevsky and Gusev have been locked in an increasingly heated and public battle to ruin the others’ business, a saga that I have chronicled in an ongoing series: Pharma Wars.

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Vrublevsky faces punishment under two articles of the state’s criminal code – illegal access to computer information, and the creation, use and dissemination of harmful computer programs. Both involve imprisonment for three to seven years.

Stanislav Maltsev

Russian newspaper Vedomosti writes that Vrublevsky’s guilty plea will be considered by the court as a mitigating circumstance, and that his sentence will not exceed five years. “And considering the fact that attacks on computer systems – a relatively new type of crime is not a particularly dangerous for the society, the term most likely will not exceed three years and may be conditional,” the publication notes.

The Vedomosti story also observes an interesting fact: One of the lawyers representing Vrublevsky is Stanislav Maltsev, whom Vrublevsky hired in 2007 to be his head of security. Prior to joining ChronoPay, Maltsev was a Russian MVD official in charge of leading an earlier criminal investigation against Vrublevsky, one that ultimately went nowhere.

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13 comments

  1. Actually, the bail was denied on October 18th, yesterday was the hearing of an appeal to that 10/18 denial.

    It seems like Desp is getting quite the bang for his buck – it’s uncustomary for russian criminal system to deny bail in such circumstances. And given the fact that Pavel is more than willing to bribe the court officials (and Mosgorsud is a criminal enterprise where almost anything can be arranged for $$$) – it’s quite clear that Desp has very powerful forces on his side.

  2. Desp has a very small penis to do this.
    Don’t think this duck can do this.

    • Енгель, тебе ж запретили к компьютеру подходить. Не безобразничай.

      • Mooduck, can u write in english pls?

        ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

  3. Background recap: Pavel Vrublevsky has nicknames Desp and Red Eye
    He co-founded Chronopay with Igor Gusev in 2003
    Founded Rx-Promotion pharmacy affiliate spamming program in 2007

  4. And considering the fact that attacks on computer systems – a relatively new type of crime is not a particularly dangerous for the society, the term most likely will not exceed three years and may be conditional,”

    “conditional” means “a suspended sentence”

  5. “is not a particularly dangerous for the society”

    Whomever wrote that has no idea of what “attacks on computer systems” can cause, if used directly against social structures.

  6. I propose a sentence consisting of only a day behind bars for each payment processed by Chronopay for the scareware purveyors, or a day for each spammed Rx fraud website he pushed in our throats.
    We can sleep careless then, and ignore the rest of badness he brought to thousands of innocent people.

    Too bad that the people all over the world which were lied, cheated, tricked, infected, scammed, ripped off, robbed, and so on, can not gather to hand Mr. Vrublevsky (his name is doomed to hold money = ruble) as the Lebanese rebels handled Mr. Gaddafi ;)

    • I agree with your comment, except for the last part, where I think you confused countries and continents Lebanon Libya and Lebanese rebels would mean rebels in Lebanon, not Libya.


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